"While Dave Carroll was flying from Nova Scotia to Nebraska he had his Taylor guitar ruined," says the Huffington Post. "After a protracted attempt to get United to pay for the damage, Carroll struck back." And how! The Sons of Maxwell frontman wrote a song called "United Breaks Guitars," in which he recounts the sorry tale of a customer-service fiasco. The first verse describes an eyewitness account of the harsh treatment endured by Carroll's $3,500 instrument:

I flew United Airlines on my way to Nebraska
The plane departed Halifax, connecting in Chicago's O'Hare
While on the ground, a passenger said from the seat behind me
"My God, they're throwing guitars out there!"
The band and I exchanged a look best described as terror
At the action on the tarmac, and knowing whose projectiles these would be
So before I left Chicago, I alerted three employees who showed complete indifference towards me

Carroll then breaks in to a catchy chorus that details his complaint for United—in essence: You know you broke my guitar, and you should fix it.

To most listeners, Carroll's position sounds reasonable enough—and your Marketing Inspiration is to avoid situations in which four million customers and potential customers hear about your bad customer service on YouTube.

More Inspiration:
Beth Harte: What is "Journalistic Integrity" in a Social-Media World?
Ted Mininni: Car Wars
Paul Dunay: Using Social Media to Deepen Customer Relations

Once you've pleased your customers with good service, why not give them a place to talk about it? Building a branded customer community can be a great way to deepen customer interactions and relationships. Check out "Whether and How to Build a Branded Customer Community" for information and tips on how to create a community that meets your customers' needs.

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