We don’t get things right 100% of the time, we all make mistakes. It’s about how we deal with those mistakes that defines us, rather than the mistakes themselves.
The online world lays our mistakes bear. We are an open book for every potential and existing customer to draw an opinion about us. Social Media does an even better job of magnifying the “boils on your bum”.
If we are not making mistakes then we are not trying hard enough. However painful it may feel we do need to commit to a decision, a stance or an opinion. Otherwise ourselves and our businesses get lost in the mix. Yet you need to hold your calm.
Think Twice, Post Once
There is nothing worse than compounding an error by trying to defend the indefensible or just making excuses. Most of the time you are best to take it on the chin, apologise, own up, pay up or make amends rather than stand your ground and fight, whether you are right or wrong.
This week I have seen two examples online of poor responses to customers that could have been handled much more appropriately. Having done so, they would have drawn much less attention. And in the second example below, it would have been much less of a threat to the overall business.
Emma’s Pizza were upset when a customer ate and then refused to pay for an addition to their order. They vented their anger directly on Twitter:
Even when the public reacted to the outburst Emma’s Pizza continued the assault on anyone that dare question them:
Finally they realised the error of their ways and the apology spread across several Tweets:
The Wrath of Public Opinion
Whilst Emma’s Pizza realised the error of their ways and eventually apologised to all concerned, at the time of writing the case of London Confidential remains unresolved.
Lizzie Mabbot blogs about food at her site Hollow Legs, she also writes for other publications including restuaraunt reviews for London Confidential. They do not pay Lizzie for her work directly, but do cover expenses incurred ordering food in order to write the reviews.
According to Lizzie, after payment had gone overdue, she emailed London Confidential chasing payment. Mark Garner, Publisher at London Confidential took offence at being chased for payment to the extent that he personally attacked Lizzie in his reply ending…
“So, allow me to give you some feedback for your tight, fairly well written petit-bourgeois note. Stick it up your fat, suburban arse.
This exchange took place in private via email but being a blogger Lizzie published both her original email and reply on her blog, then Tweeted about it:
It didn’t take long to start trending on Twitter, with 130 comments to date and much bad feeling extended to Mark Garner and London Confidential, with calls to advertisers to stop using the site:
Just because your disagreement takes place in private, don’t make it personal, keep it professional whatever you may be feeling inside.
Publishing your response is only a copy and paste away.