Social media demands our attention!

Credit: Dave Carroll Music 2009

In a recent blog, I described the amazing story of musician Dave Carroll and his broken Taylor Guitar….broken on a United Airlines flight from Halifax to Omaha for a gig.

After 9 months of pursuing United for his $1200. in damages, he was given a final “NO” by customer service representative, Ms. Irlweg at O’Hare Airport.  Being a musician, Dave decided to write his song, “United Breaks Guitars” and posted it on YouTube.

Three days later, it had over 100,000 views.  Today it’s just short of 16 million.

Two lessons learned………….first, social media is POWERFUL.  Both positive and even more so, NEGATIVE.

Who knows how much business United has lost as a result….I don’t want to think about it!

Second lesson:  The days of “oh well, it’s just one customer” and file it under “denial” are over for the prudent business.  How much business does a home services provider loose with bad reviews on Yelp?

Here’s my take away:

  • First, remember why you went into business. Get the “founding company culture” back in place.
  • Respond to every on-line review with a “thank you” for their input.
  • Take each criticism or bad review at face value.
  • For the negative reviews, tell them their experience doesn’t’ meet your standards of service and you’ll be investigating their claim and responding within 72 hours. Provide a manager’s number if they want a more immediate contact with the company.
  • If you’ve missed the mark, provide a full or partial refund or make amends in another manner…another service call, etc.

At the end of the day, most customers understand miss-steps, but they need to know you care and you’ll make it right!  This guidelines will go a long way in mitigating negative reviews.  Of course, the best remedy is provide great service every day, all the time!


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