This is an interesting story in managing customer feedback on social networks, while this approached worked for Molten’s I certainly don’t recommend it.
Background of the story
A group of diners ate at Mt Eden’s Molten Restaurant and were disappointed with the meal and experience and posted their review on Zomato, a review website. The owner on seeing the review wrote his own review of the customers. While he went against the customer is always right rule he did get widespread support from the media for standing up to the reviewers. More detail on the story is available here
We are now in the conversation economy and it is possible for everyone to have a platform and a voice, and this opens up your business and reputation to a lot of amateur reviewers and even trolls. You need to be very careful how you respond and manage the conversation otherwise you could fall victim to the now famous Striesand Effect.
As much as you may not like the voice and platform that disgruntled customers have, these platforms are here to stay and they are just amplifying the conversations that were taking place previously however they were in private, so you didn’t have a chance to hear them and make the appropriate changes. Now they are in public you can get real-time feedback of what your customers are saying, the good and the bad you can use this to improve how you can move forward.
When you have put your heart and soul into your product and service it is hard to take negative feedback from customers, you are creating and they are just sitting there being a critic. However your response on these sites tells your existing and future customers a lot about who you are as a business and how you treat your customers. You should respond, you should try to put things right and make sure your aren’t using generic answers like ‘we are sorry that we didn’t meet your expectations this time, we pride ourselves…’ be authentic. As you build a community of followers, supporters and advocates they will come to your defense of the trolls.
- Build a passionate fan base – let them defend you – you can see that on Zomato site for Molten’s
- Don’t fight fire with fire – have a conversation with the disgruntled customer – put it right – if you can’t you can always fire them as a customer.
- Whatever you do be authentic
- Review sites – I think there is an opportunity for review sites to take a lead here, they should use an algorithm to scale the customers reviews (good or bad) based on how many reviews they have and how many followers they have. Therefore the more reviews a reviewer has done and the more followers the more weighting should be given to their review in the overall score. This is something that IMDB does well with it’s movie ratings