SXSW Interactive 2015

Advocates vs. Agitators: The Social Influence

Just one good or bad experience can become a viral customer service nightmare, or so it seems. Social media has given brands the flexibility to communicate directly with consumers in real-time public arenas. This can often lead to a brand receiving praise or getting publicly shamed by the customer, depending on the customer’s perception of customer service given.

Though negative stories seem to have more traction, we’ve seen brands excel at listening to customers via social media and working to create a positive experience. But when customers become ugly, when do brands decide to stand up to the trolls and not allow themselves to be bullied?

Join Digiday’s Shareen Pathak, as she moderates a panel featuring Chevrolet's Jamie Barbour, Southwest Airlines' Alice Wilson, and Oracle’s Rahim Fazal to explore when and why people lose empathy and loyalty for a brand and choose to share their good and bad experiences publicly via social media.

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  1. Why do people lose empathy and loyalty for a brand when they have a negative experience?
  2. At what point do brands stop giving in to customer requests? When is it impossible to make everyone happy?
  3. Why do seemingly isolated incidents become a brand identifier and cause customer service stigma?
  4. Why do people go the route of using social media to receive customer service over more traditional means such as in-person, phone & email?
  5. What makes a customer service issue – good or bad – go viral?


  • Shareen Pathak, Brands Editor, Digiday
  • Jamie Barbour, manager, Chevrolet Digital and Social Advertising, Chevrolet
  • Alice Wilson, Social Business, Advisor -Marketing , Southwest Airlines
  • Rahim Fazal, Senior Director of Product Management Strategy , Oracle


Ashley Johnson, Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Social and Relationships
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced
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