Totally offtopic musings on customer service and reputation

Some recent events have led me to consider issues around reputation, and more specifically online reputation.

I believe most successful proprieters of service based industries realise that some people do have bad experiences, for whatever reason, and it's how we deal with this that shapes our reputation.

I believe that every negative can be viewed as an opportunity.

I believe that most disatisfied customers can be turned into a loyal advocate with something as simple as an apology or an offer to make things right.

I believe that when presented with another persons view and feelings about a series of events, you have two choices. You could pay close attention and learn something about how you might have come across in the situation, or you can argue your justification. The latter is unlikely to convince anybody but yourself.

I believe that trying to silence discussions about your business reflects far worse on your brand than the discussions themselves.

I believe that people who think negatively and act aggressively towards others are far more likely to interpret any situation as an attack.

Discuss if you wish, please keep any specifics out of the comments. This is a set of general observations.

Views: 56

Comment by Jonathan on November 14, 2009 at 11:21pm
I agree damien. on another forum i've seen some excellet example of retailers taking on criticism and really learning something, or at least be seen as being reasonable. in a "he-said, she-said" contest, the company that argues against a customer will always come off looking bad. there are some brilliant examples of this online.

i used to work in retail and was responsible for dealing with unhappy customers. our policy was to do whatever was in our power (within reason) to turn an unhappy customer into a raving advocate. retailers need to remember the old adage: a happy customer might tell a couple of friends, but an unhappy one will tell many.
Comment by Duncan on November 15, 2009 at 4:26am
I generally agree with your sentiments.

"They who should remain nameless" (sounds like Harry Potter), have done themselves a disservice.
Comment by noelbike on November 15, 2009 at 7:00am
Misunderstanding is a two way street.

It does concern me how adamant and one-eyed some people on this site are. If we want a better society we will get it via seeing other peoples' points of view.
Comment by DamianM on November 15, 2009 at 8:02am
Totally agree Noel, it is a two way street. That is why discussion is such a healthy thing to have
Comment by David Taylor on November 15, 2009 at 9:08am
It's all pretty standard PR stuff really
Comment by Sammy on November 15, 2009 at 11:55am
I can't imagine D as a pollie's staffer :D
Comment by Dabba on November 15, 2009 at 12:16pm
You can't fix a problem if you don't know about it, so it is best to let the problems be known so that they can be fixed. However, if the problems are known about and not fixed then mediocre businesses run the risk of being former businesses.
Comment by David Taylor on November 15, 2009 at 12:36pm
I'd say one way to go is rather than posting negative spin about places with poor service a bit of positive spin about the ones we love.

For my part I love the service at Cranks North Sydney, great pricing and service.

And no I don't work there

Comment by cog_nition on November 15, 2009 at 1:35pm
Not sure how appropriate it would be in this case, however possibly in the future giving said businesses the opportunity to offer their side of the exchange online so that the forum has the opportunity to get the full story. I have seen businesses engage in other on-line forums successfully and generate customers as a result of their responses and ongoing participation to the onlilne community. Just to quantify the businesses are members and not there to spruik products.
Comment by DamianM on November 15, 2009 at 2:23pm
Cog_nition, this post is totally general and not about a particular incident. However in a recent case on this site, what you suggest is exactly what happened, and I encouraged it strongly. It ended badly though


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