Biting the Hand That Feeds You

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Culture, Leadership, Motivation, Retention, Value
Tags: , , , , , ,

In social media, we have all witnessed some real PR nightmares unfold.  Interestingly, most happen out of the Phoenix metropolitan area where I happen to live, work, play…and dine.  It is with a heavy heart that I feel compelled to weigh in on what transpired via the social review platform called Yelp.  Yelp is a nice platform for businesses to engage with customers through reviews, connection and specials.

A local restaurant received a sub-par review — food, service, experience.  Personally, I would have considered it an opportunity — someone actually took the time to write about us, let’s bust our tails to remediate the experience and ask for another chance.  The owner of the restaurant reacted by taking the potential relationship right off the rails.  You can see the meat of the article here: New Times Blog.  In the comments of the blog, the owner continues her tirade.  Jay Baer of Convince and Convert has said that social media does not create negativity, it only magnifies it.  Well, this owner has turned social media into an electron microscope.

It will be interesting to see what transpires and how much actual damage is done to her business.

We all fail in moments of truth with our customers, as consumers we certainly understand, especially if the business owns the error or failing — we’re all human.  Would it all have been resolved with a simple apology?  Hard to say, but it may have been a more tactful approach.

If the restaurant’s mission or core values are to simply make pizza with organic ingredients it may be far too limited.  Now if the restaurant’s mission is to provide delicious organic pizza in a friendly, intimate, neighborhood environment — they may have some work to do in delivering.

Business leaders must remain well aware of who truly pays the bills.  This will likely serve as a social media case study for quite some time with mavens and professionals adding their twist.  Quite simply, treat your customers as you’d wish to be treated…only better.

  1. Mike — a similar conversation over at our blog.

    Digital communications has given everyone a voice – to praise, recommend, critique, you name it. Used correctly, it will advance the dialogue and hopeful resolve an issue if one exists. Used incorrectly…well, let this instance be a warning.

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