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As we grow our digital team here at MWWPR, a recent experience reminded me just how important it is for companies to invest in social and digital strategy.

Twitter is a platform most use. Whether it’s a personal tweet declaring a new-found love for peanut butter, or how successful your morning run was, there’s something quite satisfying receiving the odd like or retweet by followers.

In a matter of seconds, a tweet is typed and shared for the whole of the Twittersphere to see – then you get on with your day and rarely think too much about that tweet again.

As more brands and companies step onto the platform, it opens a whole new world of ‘tweeting’, allowing you to connect with your favorite shows, fashion lines, restaurants, and most recently for me, coffee house giant, Pret a Manger.

Now nobody likes the taste of burnt coffee, especially one you’ve paid for. So, when I experienced this from Pret, I took to Twitter to let them know.

Thinking my tweet wouldn’t get picked up, the response caught me off guard. Firstly, it was only 15 minutes later, and secondly it felt like a personal apology. They also asked me to direct message them to tell them what had happened. My honest response shortly followed and again a very quick reply came back to me saying:

 “Please accept our apologies for the disappointing coffee and rest assured that we’ll be getting in touch with the team. Although we appreciate it won’t make up for the poor experience, we’d like to send you a £5 gift card to allow you to grab another drink on us next time.”

My address was given and within two days I received my gift card. I wasn’t expecting that response at all!

The power of my little tweet had not only earned me a £5 gift card, but it had also changed my attitude of ‘I’m never going to Pret again’ to ‘I’ll give them another chance’, not just to spend my gift card but to consider nipping in for coffee time and time again.

It got me thinking about how important investing in a strong social media team is for a brand. In this instance it reflected the power to influence and change a customer experience quickly. Of course, Pret is a huge company with budget for a great social media team, but needless to say it can be done in smaller businesses just as easily. In a world where news and opinions can spread so effortlessly, getting on board with social media is important for companies as a way of adding value and serving their consumers needs in a timely fashion.

I’ll be heading back to Pret to feed my new found coconut latte addiction, and I may even turn back to Twitter to thank the company this time – now that’s surely the outcome Pret want and truly deserve.

Gabrielle Dunn, Graduate Trainee

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