Customer Service and Social Media – A Personal Example

Mar 2012

Customer service is a tricky thing to do right.  As a business owner, you want to keep your customers happy, but at the same time maintain the integrity of your business and your product.  Not listening to your customers at all is the death of a company, but satisfying your customers whim can be costly and time consuming.  There needs to be a balance.  These same principles need to be applied towards social media as well.  Often times, we find ourselves as customer service reps for our clients as people reach out about complaints via Twitter, Yelp or Facebook.

I had an experience recently that demonstrated a very good approach to customer service via social media.   I went to the Veggie Grill for the first time.  As a vegetarian, I was excited.  I had heard a lot of good things, and I love a place where I can get a chicken sandwich, sans chicken.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that I was hoping for.  So, as with all establishments I visit, I wrote a Yelp review.  I didn’t tear into them, I didn’t rant and rave.  Overall, the experience was nice, but not what I was hoping for.  (Translation: 3 stars)

The same day that I posted my review, the owner wrote me a private message apologizing for my expectations not being met, and asked if I would give it another try, for free.  He suggested a couple other dishes that he thought I might like better and asked for my address.  So, I said of course I would try it again, and a few days later, a couple free meal card showed up in the mail.

I went back, had what he suggested and was thoroughly satisfied.  He made a fan out of me.

In retrospect, he didn’t have to go out of his way to get me to come back.  I gave them 3 stars, and the review wasn’t really negative.  I even said I would probably try it again.  But that wasn’t good enough.  It’s an attitude that I wish existed in more companies.  They won’t settle for anything less than people LOVING what they put out.  Anything less is unacceptable to them.

What is the takeaway here?  When you are talking about customer satisfaction, you want to blow people away with your product or service.  You want to make those people go out and tell others about what a great experience they had.  That is how you grow a successful business.  That is how it should be done.

Katie Wagner Social Media Blog

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