A few days ago, a friend of mine tweeted about bad service she had received at a Downtown restaurant, and commented that she would never go back again.
This morning the restaurant tweeted the following:
“#fixedproblemswithservice #bestserviceever #notoutofanythingeveragain”
This is one of the stupidest responses I have ever seen, and indicates that the restaurant in question does not get social media at all. Let’s examine this response hashtag by hashtag:
1) #fixedproblemswithservice: Why is this a hashtag? Hashtags make posts on a similar topic easier to organize and find. Who is ever going to be searching for “#fixedproblemswithservice?” Just say “Fixed problems with service” like a normal human being. The same goes for the two other hashtags in the response. Not that I’ve never been guilty of hashtag abuse on my own Twitter account, but I’m not trying to promote a business when I tweet.
By the way, why not tweet HOW you fixed the problems with service? People will be more willing to believe you if you provide details.
2) #bestserviceever: This is something you want your customers to be saying about you, not something you want to say about yourself on social media. Sounds like bragging and gives no indication that you’ve actually taken steps to correct the issues related to the customer’s complaint.
3) #notoutofanythingeveragain: This is not realistic. Every restaurant runs out of some item sometime. This sounds dismissive of the customer’s complaint, and rather condescending.
How would I have handled the complaint, based on my total of 0 years, 0 months, and 0 days in the service industry? I would have DMed the upset customer and asked her to describe the issues that occurred that led to her bad experience at my restaurant. I would have supplied an e-mail address so she could vent at greater length than 140 characters. And, of course, I’d have apologized.
Upon receiving her e-mail, I’d have read carefully what she wrote, then taken steps as necessary to ensure that other diners do not have the same bad experience. I’d have replied via e-mail thanking her for taking the time to provide feedback, and listing what corrective measures were taken. Then I’d have tweeted, “Thanks @customerusername for your thoughtful feedback. We value your business and hope you’ll give us another try.” As I learned at the Geekend conference, when you screw up and people call you out on it, own it.
If this restaurant doesn’t already use a social media consulting company, they need to hire one immediately. If they do, they need to call them immediately and set up a Twitter damage control session. They might also want to follow @kookycanuck, @peabodymemphis, @southofbeale and @majesticgrille, all of whom are very good case studies in how to use social media to effectively converse with customers.