Why did you choose this company?
Walmart is a very important store in the United States, but not only in the USA but also all over the world. They have 8.500 stores in 15 countries (UK, Canada, Mexico, Japan…) and under 55 different names (Walmex, Asda, Seiyu, Best Price…).
Walmart is the third largest public corporation in the world been the first one Exxon Mobil and the second one Royal Dutch Shell. It is a family business controlled by the Walton family and they own the 48% stake.
This company sells all kind of products in a low price and as they sell products which are cheaper than the competitors they get a lot of customers. The two slogans which define best this company are Always low prices and Save money. Life better.
Apart from selling low priced products they also have products for people with a high purchasing power. These products are more expensive and some of these products are organic food, higher quality wines, more sophisticated electronic products and fashionable wardrobe.
The corporate culture is based in three basic beliefs and integrity which are the followings: Firstly, they serve their customers making them be the first priority. Secondly, they respect for the individuals recognizing their contributions and communicating by listening and sharing ideas and information. Thirdly, they strive for excellence innovating because they try new ways and they work as a team.
However, although this is what their corporate culture says I have to say that there are some differences between what they say and what it really happens: On the one hand, they say that they serve the customers making them the first priority but what it is really happening is that they sell products which are already expired or which expiration date is close. On the other hand, there are problems related to their workers.
It is known that their wages are 20% below the average retail worker and that they work in poor conditions because they are forced to work off-the-clock and are not allowed to take rests and lunch breaks. They also have inadequate health cares and that is why they have to enroll in state health care plans. Finally, they also have anti-union policies. Therefore the 70% of the employees leave within the first year. Because of all this reasons I decided to do this task about Walmart.
Criteria of analysis
This company has many accounts. It can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Foursquare and the company has some guidelines for the users and employers to follow. In the following lines I am going to analyze what the guidelines of Walmart say about the general users and about the employees, that is to say, how they can write in the social medias.
The aim of the accounts they own is to provide information on Walmart’s major activities and initiatives. They also respond to as many relevant questions and comments as possible, but they always reserve the right to select the messages they respond to. They also reserve the right to remove off-topic comments, comments which are not relevant to the dialogue.
Apart from that, the company also asks to be polite and courteous even if the users disagree and to post things from a real person and Facebook profile. Otherwise, as they have the right to delete posts they will delete them.
Finally, but not the least important, Walmart asks the customers to use Walmart’s Facebook Feedback tab when complaining about a customer service in order to be answered faster.
Walmart has mainly two rules for its employees: On the one hand, the employees cannot share confidential or private information about the company’s business operations, products, services or customers and they have to respect financial disclosure laws. On the other hand, the company asks the employees not to attempt to customer inquiries or comments directed specially to the company.
Analysis/Reflection of impact
After analyzing what Walmarts guidelines say about the general users I can conclude saying that the company has the right to delete any comment they do not want people to see it. Is it ethical to delete any comment? And where is the freedom of speech? Personally, I think that Walmart should leave the positive and the negative comments in the walls. They could answer the negative comments with an argument and that why the clients would trust even more in the company.
If we analyze the Facebook account we can see that Walmart does not delete the negative posts but neither they answer them. Example:
Walmart also asks users to post things from a real person and Facebook profile. I agree with this statement because if one person leaves a negative comment which affects the company they can identify him/her faster. However, I think that if they let people be anonymous more people would leave more comments because they would feel more freedom to speech.
Another thing that Walmart asks is to use Walmart’s Facebook Feedback tab when complaining about a service. This guideline makes me think again that they want to hide the negative things that people could write in the social networks.
Employees who are responsible of the social networks
After analyzing what Walmarts guidelines say about the employees I can conclude that the company asks unethical things to the employees who manage the social networks. First of all, they are obligated to select the messages they respond to; and secondly, they are obligated to remove off-topic comments and comments which are not polite and courteous.
As I said before, I think that the employees who are responsible of the social networks should answer all the comments in a fast and efficient way so that people can trust more in the company. I think that Walmart shouldn’t take a lot of time when answering any comment and they should also answer with a direct answer instead of confusing people.
Katho Erasmus student – New Media