Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When Should You Respond to a Negative Review or Online Complaint?

A customer has had a negative experience.   He or she takes to social media to register a complaint.  Does your company have a fast response capability?   How do you decide when to respond to a poor review?   If you think that you move quickly, check out this amazing story from a recent Fast Company article by Stephanie Vozza:

While dining at the Mexican fast food chain Boloco, a customer sent out a tweet complaining that the music was too loud. Boloco, which operates 22 locations in New England, prides itself on responding to all feedback within 24 hours. This time, they set a record. “We saw the tweet right away, called the restaurant and told the staff to turn down the music,” says Allison Doyle, director of marketing for Boloco. “We also described what the woman looked like from her Twitter picture and had the staff deliver a cookie to her. Then we retweeted her tweet, adding the word ‘done.’ She was floored.”

As the article rightly points out, not every complaint or negative review warrants an immediate response.  Sometimes, people are simply expressing a preference, and that person may not be in your target market.   Most customers in your target market may, in fact, like a particular attribute of your product or service that is the subject of a negative comment.  You do not want to overreact in that case.   Some situations may require a bit more time to study and evaluate.   In those instances, you may wish to let the customer know that you are investigating, without offering a particular remedy.   You need to do your due diligence first before offering a knee-jerk reaction via social media to a negative comment.  

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