January 23, 2014
Don’t Wait to Make it Right
Today, more than any other time in history, immediacy is vital. You cannot allow negative situations to foment, or percolate. Address them, immediately. In fact, Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR in NYC says you should have a plan in place for how to deal with negative feedback BEFORE you end up in that situation. Otherwise, you run the risk of making things much – MUCH – worse.
This is a lesson one famous computer company learned the hard way. Way back in 2005, a customer brought a complaint to this company. In fact, he stated that the computer he purchased was a lemon. He went on to say that the company “sucked”, and “lied” to him. Harsh commentary, for certain. Everyone has bad experiences, but a company that lies takes it to an entirely new level.
When initially published, the blog post the upset consumer wrote was nothing more than a rant about a bad experience. Had the company stepped in then, when they first learned of it, they may have stopped what happened next. Instead, they waited to see what would happen. Or they just assumed one guy griping meant little to their bottom line.
The computer company failed to realize the social component of the internet. Countless other customers discovered the blog post, and began to share their own stories of woe in the comments. And they just kept coming.
Then the firestorm spilled over onto social media. Where, predictably, it exploded exponentially. It was not until then that the company decided to address the original customer’s comments. But, by that time the damage was done. The company offered the customer a new computer and refunded his money, but the story had taken a life of its own. Now there are massive numbers of connected complaints about the company, severely damaging their reputation online.
Ronn Torossian on the worst mistake you can make when dealing with an online complaint.