Posts Tagged ‘customer experience’

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.

I know this is challenging and difficult for some to grasp, but they’re likely sitting around a table scratching their heads wondering where their customers went.  In fact, they may even create a 500 page manual dedicated to it.

Fasten your seatbelts, here it is:

Customers have goals.

Customers use your product or service to achieve goals.

Customers leave when they do not achieve their goals.

Know their goals, guide their journey to achieving their goals.

Be remarkable, not replaceable.

Whenever I have to pick someone up at the airport, I get there early — I love watching people, the ebb and flow fascinates me.  Funny how when I’m the one traveling I’m the loser running to his gate.

My reverie was interrupted during a recent airport run by the marketing director of a biz-to-biz company — need to start wearing my ‘misanthrope’ t-shirt again, still not sure why he chose me that night.

He used an expression that absolutely disturbed me.  In kibitzing on business and the economy, he said, “well our people on the front line are telling me……………….”.  I zoned out the rest and I have no idea what he said after that.

The front line?!?!  Front line?!?!  Are you at war?  Thought you said you provided a billing system for Fortune 1000 companies?  At war with whom?  Your customers?

Boer War Pictures, Images and Photos

If we ask our employees, how things are on the “front line” are we suffering from ivory tower syndrome?  There are hundreds of other terms to describe those critical employees that have constant direct contact with our customers – use them.

Make love not war — they are customers, not combatants.

Be remarkable not replaceable.