What does Bullfighting and Social Customer Service have in common?

Probably on the surface not a huge amount, but scratch down a layer and you’ll see some of the similarities. Bullfighting is a popular past-time and really a cultural symbol for many Hispanic people. It is an activity, that has everything, drama, excitement, maybe even a bit of blood. So, how on earth does this have anything to do with Customer Service?

All eyes on you

Bullfighting is a spectator sport, so to is Social Customer Service as Jay Baer points out in his ‘Hug your Haters’ book. In Bullfighting you Matador and the Bull are in the middle of a Bullring, surrounded by onlookers with nowhere to hide. Social Media Sites are the Bullring. This is where anyone can turn up and watch you and your company, and scrutinise or cheer everything you do. Everything you do can be seen. This is an opportunity as well as a threat. You can use this opportunity to interact with customers, show your attributes, offer something that no or few other companies in your industry are currently doing.

Red flag

In Bullfighting you will notice a flag being waved by the matador. He is trying to get a reaction from the Bull. In this instance you (a business) are the Bull, and the Matador is someone complaining on your social media page, be it Facebook, Twitter or wherever else you operate publicly. This person may have a genuine complaint, they may simply be trying to provoke you into reacting. Either way a complaint can be seen as a red flag being waved in front of the Bull. As a Bull, if you don’t react the crowd will turn on you because they aren’t seeing anything from you. If you over react it could lead to the you (the Bull) being frankly killed at the end of the contest. You need to get the balance right. You need to engage you need to show that you are there, and acknowledge that social customer service is a spectator sport.

Despite the similarities there are some key differences

I think that the similarities between the two are great, but at the end of the day the way in which the two contests turn out there really is a big difference.
In social customer service you need to engage, but it’s not really a fight. You need to acknowledge the crowd but you don’t want to stir them up. You don’t want to be playing a game of cat and mouse, you want to solve the situation quickly, with an outcome that suits everyone.
Thanks again for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please do leave comment at the bottom, and feel free to share the article with anyone who you think will also enjoy it!