Community managers at Loblaw are interacting where they can in meaningful ways, and suggestions and comments from customers will be reviewed for ways Loblaw can improve its PC products and the customer experiences.
Nameth declined to say how long the campaign would last, but said #HeyPC would be a cornerstone of President’s Choice marketing: “We really are planning this to be an ongoing conversation with Canadians and so you'll definitely see more,” she said.
While there are many different ways to gather customer feedback, doing this on social media for everyone to see, is beneficial to the brand because it lets customers feel like they are part of a conversation with other customers, said Nameth. “Rather than us tell our story from our perspective, it’s certainly better for consumers to tell the story of the brand and the impact it’s had on their lives,” she said.
However, doing it on social media also means the brand opens itself up to people who want to use the hashtag not to make food suggestions or air honest complaints about a store visit, but to voice their anger about larger topics. Indeed, in the first few days more than a few people, particularly on Twitter, used #HeyPC to complain about, for example, the low pay for Loblaw employees.
“Social can be interesting in that way,” said Nameth. And whether they asked for it or not, those kinds of complaints will still be on social media. Loblaw is willing to take those kinds of complaints as the inevitable cost of engaging with many more of its customers in a constructive way, she said, adding that they expect the negative, angry posts to be far outnumbered by that more earnest engagement.
“My experience on social with any brand has been that a lot of times your biggest advocates speak out on your behalf because they don’t feel the same way,” said Nameth. And creating a platform for all voices to be heard has value for the brand in terms of being transparent and authentic with its customers, she said.
“Yes, I hope this doesn’t sort of go down a place where people are overly negative, but you know, it is important for us to be transparent about the feedback we’re receiving, and then what we’re doing about it.”