Justin Flitter

Marketer | TEDxAuckland Producer | Juggler

Justin Flitter | CMO | TEDxAuckland Producer | Juggler. Follow on Twitter @JustinFlitter

When someone blogs about a negative Customer Experience what should you do?

Over the last few months I have blogged about poor customer experiences I have had with several retailers and sports stadiums. The responses were interesting. Some made me sit back and think "well these guys are on to it" and others left a lot to be desired.

People complain on Twitter but they blog with meaning, evidence, emotion and influence. A blog post sharing a poor customer experience is an asset to your business that can be a huge opportunity bot internally and publicly. How your business responds to blog posts and what you do with that information tells a lot about your culture and the amount of value you place on the customer experience.

Usually people:

  • Do nothing
  • Post a meaningless comment like "We're sorry you experienced this in one of our stores, we'll review our instore and training to make sure we address these issues you raise."
  • Try to excuse your staff for the poor customer service by saying they were extraordinarily busy or new and inexperienced staff
  • Email the blogger with a standard copy in paste response talking about how much training and attention you give customer service

What you could do:

  • Make contact and call/talk to the person, asking questions that dig deeper into what happened
  • Ask them to visit the store to talk to their staff about the experience they had
  • Print out the blog post and read it during a staff meeting, even a board or management meeting
  • Reply with a personal comment on the blog post from a senior person and the store manager to demonstrate awareness and appreciation
  • Ask the blogger to return to the same store a month later to re-evaluate the customer service and test for improvements 
  • Most importantly of course is address the issue. Is it one individual, cultural slackness, a poor attitude or a weakness in your training. Identify and remedy the problem as fast as possible

So if someone does complain about you on Twitter or writes a blog post about their bad customer experience, do something with that, turn it into an opportunity to improve and to demonstrate you do care, you are passionate and that you're not just full of hot air.

What have you done to respond to a customers blog post?