Will People Use Periscope for Business Shaming?

Periscope1When it comes to customer service, there are a few clear leaders who do everything they can to maintain customer loyalty and positive word of mouth. For every Zappos.com and Southwest, however there are many mom-and-pop businesses and even major brands, which can stand to learn a few things about customer support.

For example, how many times have you waited on hold for more than 20 minutes before a customer service representative could take your call?  Have you ever purchased something online and tried to return it, but the instructions to send the merchandise back just didn’t make any sense and there was no clear channel to get help? From shipping mix-ups, to payment issues, there’s a million ways a transaction can go wrong, and a million other ways that poor customer service can make a bad situation even worse.

Today when these things happen to us we turn to social media, especially Twitter, to rant, complain, or seek help. On Twitter, you can call out the business in question and try to solicit a response or even a “make-good” in return for your hassle and frustration. In response, many businesses have started using Twitter as a major channel in their customer service and support efforts.

So what happens when you throw Periscope into the mix? Will customers soon be using Periscope to publicly shame businesses in real-time? (If you missed the whole “Periscope thing” click here to find out about it.)

If you’re waiting on the tarmac for no reason on a flight, now thousands of viewers can watch you live out your misery as you complain about the airline in question on Periscope. Perhaps you are sitting in a restaurant waiting, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour for your food to arrive (and it isn’t a white table cloth kind of place). You can just turn on Periscope and livestream your experience until the waiter figures out what you’re doing. If 50 other potential customers can see how bad the service is, maybe the manager will be quick to offer an apology, an explanation, or a free meal!

I am not advocating that people go out and use Periscope in this way. I just think it may be a really big use-case for the app that’s been overlooked so far. I wonder when users will figure out that they can complain, abuse, and humiliate businesses with live video? (Maybe it’s already happening right now!) Does this kind of use go against Periscope’s terms of service or community guidelines? I guess we’ll have to wait and see . . .

(Image and instructions to make a DIY periscope via Wired.com)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *