Credit goes to Stacey Harmon for finding this one. You can see her original post on Facebook here. Basically, a customer was disappointed in the level of service (or lack-thereof ) at this establishment. He voiced his opinion much like anyone else would to a friend and posted it on the restaurant’s Facebook Page. The owner responded in less than an apologetic tone as you can see below…
(Click on the image to enlarge it).
Think About It:
First of all, this customer is clearly upset. Do you really think that responding in this manner is going to cool him down? Sure, maybe the owner could care less if he loses one client. But typing it out in public for the rest of your community to see, hmm. Not a smart move. By the way, the comment has since been deleted. But I knew it was there, so it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
On the other hand, what if you apologized for the visit, agreed with the client’s concerns, and gave him a complimentary meal on his next visit (a discount or something). Personally, I think two things would happen: 1.) he’d be impressed and would take you up on your offer, 2.) you’d win a client for life (assuming you didn’t foul it up on the second visit). But really, any time a company/restaurant has tried to make up for the lack of service, and has done something for me by way of apologizing or giving me a discount on a next visit, they’ve earned a new customer for life.
Apple did that for me when they replaced my battery free of charge in less than a week. Restaurants have done it by giving me a dessert on the house and giving us a discount on our meals for taking so long to bring the food out.
A few things come to mind…
- The customer is always right. Moments like this present an opportunity to correct an error and earn a customer for life.
- Don’t ever trash your customers online. Ever. Period.
- A friend of mine once said: “Criticism is one of the greatest marketing opportunities you have. It’s a chance to correct any misperceptions.” – David Gibbons
Think about this the next time you post a Status Update that ends up as a rant about one of your customers. Think about this the next time you hit send on that negative tweet about an outing with a client.
If you were this business, how might you have handled it differently?