Reminder: Your Fan Page Is Your Business

Dec 2010

I was talking to a client today about what makes a good business Facebook page. We were thinking of examples of retailers (mid-sized companies, not huge corporate giants) who do a good job with their fan pages.

“What about Rooms To Go?” He asked.

Rooms to Go is a furniture retailer that specializes in selling rooms of coordinated furniture at a bargain price for the whole set. They’re big in Atlanta, where I’m from. We looked up their Facebook fan page. At first glance – pretty good engagement. They have almost 1600 fans and a busy stream of comments on their wall. But when I started reading the comments, the picture changed. Most of the ‘fans’ seemed to have joined the page so they could complain about the company.

The very first comment on the wall, reads like this:

Just had the worst time with R2G. Having a replacement dresser delivered took forever. They gave me a delivery time of 11-3. They don’t get here until 7:30pm. I had to call them to inquire about the deliver and was told they were running late. The customer service rep Gwen gives me a time of 3-5. I guess to shut me up. At 5 still nothing. I was held hostage in my own house waiting for this delivery. I was told by the delivery men that my dresser was supposed to be delivered by another truck, but got bumped to their truck when they were finished for the day. I called plenty of times to inquire about the delivery and wasn’t told this and since it was bumped i was their last delivery for the day. R2G BAD JOB!!!!

And then, just to make sure she’s made her point, the same user comments on her own post:

The delivery people weren’t the nicest either.

So, you’re a business owner, and someone rants on your wall. What do you do? (OK, who said ‘delete it’? We’re shooting for customer service here, people…)

You respond. And Rooms To Go did. The original post was written at 5:30pm, and they wrote back at 10:30am the next day:

I am so sorry to hear that we kept you tied up longer then expected! I do see where we spoke to you at 3 pm and then again at 5 pm trying to give you a heads up. Unfortunately sometimes things happen that delay our trucks thru the day. I do see that with your other 2 deliveries we delivered within the first 2 hours of the time frame you were assigned! Our apologies for not doing so this time!

Does this sound to anyone else like the speech you gave your dad when you missed curfew in high school. (insert whiny teenage voice here) But Dad, I was on time last weekend! This woman has apparently purchased from Rooms To Go 3 times. Presumably, she had a decent experience with the company the first two times, but this time she’s ticked off. Is the response she received enough to win a fourth purchase?

I read further down the wall…

OK, 2 months ago we bought a new living room set with a R2G credit card because it was supposed to be no interest til 2015… yet it’s not being billed that way! SCAM! This will definitely be my last purchase from you.

And Rooms To Go responded:

If you can email us your order information at, we will definitely take look into this for you!

A pretty standard response. (So standard, in fact, that is is exactly the same response that RTG gives the next three customers who post on their wall… complaining about everything from cracking leather, warranties not being honored, broken furniture and bad customer service.) Each time, RTG promises to ‘look into it’ if you email them. It strikes me that there is rarely an apology, and NEVER an offer to contact the customer. Last time I checked, you can send a private message to a ‘fan,’ but RTG puts the burden on them to take further action if they want something done. Sorry, Rooms To Go, I’m pretty sure those customers thought they were “telling you” by letting you know on Facebook. I don’t think they should have to lodge a second complaint.

So, what do you think? Is Rooms To Go doing enough by responding to their customers’ concerns on the wall, or could they be doing more? (I’m obviously of the latter opinion.) But when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter what you or I think. Or even what the corporate guys at RTG think. What matters is what this social media user thinks:

spent three hours looking at all of the beautiful sofas on sale. I finally decided and I am suppose to go back Mon to buy. After reading most of these posts though, I am now leary to drop $3600 on a leather set if its going to peel & if their customer service is so bad. I don’t know anyone personally who has purchased from R2G. I am totally confused!!

She represents every other potential customer out there, who doesn’t know anyone who shops at RTG. So they turn to Facebook to find out more about the company. Does this Fan page represent the message you want your company putting out?

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