Allstate is the King of Social Media brand meltdowns.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Progressive Corp. was trying to save $75,000. Instead, it unleashed a flurry of social-media rage against the company.
Now, the question is whether Progressive’s (US:PGR) experience will prompt changes throughout the auto-insurance industry as more consumers use the Internet to tell their side of the story when they feel they’ve been slighted by their insurers.
The car insurer found itself in the middle of an online firestorm last week after a blogger named Matt Fisher took to his Tumblr page to complain about the way Progressive treated his family as they sought to collect on his deceased sister’s insurance policy.
Fisher’s story went viral, and four days later, Progressive agreed to settle with the family for an undisclosed sum. Whatever the settlement amount, the total cost of the incident will be much higher, with a tally that will include those people who made good on their Twitter threats to switch their insurance away from Progressive, as well as those who won’t consider Progressive for their insurance in the future.
The uproar is a cautionary tale for insurance companies. Even Fisher said in an interview Tuesday he was surprised by the furor his blog post created, but the incident shows that in the era of Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, any customer who doesn’t like how his claim is being handled could potentially become the next policy holder to go viral.
Even when a company’s actions are legal and done with the blessing of regulators, it can suffer reputational and financial harm when exposed to harsh cyber-invective.
“In the court of public opinion, no one cares that it’s legal or if the regulator approved it,” said Robert Hunter, the director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America. “If it can’t pass the smell test, that’s enough to spark something.”
Industry observers and public-relations experts say claims handlers and lawyers working for insurers typically operate strictly by the book, which is usually a valuable attribute for their employers. But they point out that someone in the chain of command needs to keep in mind how their actions will be perceived by the public, even when they are acting within the rules.
“This could be a wake-up call for insurers,” said Linda Kornfeld, a partner at Jenner & Block in Los Angeles who represents companies that have disputes with their insurers. “If your job is to look at claims and do what is in the best financial interest of your company, you may lose sight of the bigger picture of what the negative repercussions could be.”
Marketing Senior Manager Social Media in NorthbrookIllinoisUnited States
Title: Marketing Senior Manager Social Media
The Senior Marketing Manager of Social Media will be an integral part of the web engagement team leading and executing ground breaking social media programs that drive engagement, strengthen relationships and increase brand awareness - utilizing social media tools, emerging technologies and optimizing partnerships both inside and outside of Allstate. He/she will also serve as a team and company digital resource in the areas of social media and e-Business.
In alignment with the overall business unit's goals,
* Ability to quickly recommend responses for addressing negative and crisis communication issues – in collaboration with our public relations team.
* Ability to think strategically and execute tactically.
You guys are still don't get it do you. Fix your product. You have a defective product.
Here is what your spec sheet for a social media manager should have---
Help the business unit understand what the consumer wants.
I can answer this one for you. They want you to be honest about your product and fix the product so it is no longer a deceptive scam. Your reputation on the internet is so bad and will only get worse with this plan.