The golden rule for responding to negative customer feedback, whether in-person or online, is to acknowledge what the complainant has to say, and to do what you can to resolve the issue quickly (and quietly).
Far too many companies, however, choose to ignore feedback. For more on why that's an awful ideal, check out our friend Erik Johnson's article, "How to Respond to a Negative Post."
And then there those are businesses that lash out at clients who have less-than-positive things to say. (As you can imagine, this never goes over well.) Case in point: Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The restaurant was recently featured on the season finale of "Kitchen Nightmares," and ticked off host Gordon Ramsay so much that he felt they were beyond help and walked out. (That's never, ever happened before. Huge red flag.)
As if that wasn't enough negative publicity for Amy's Baking Company, after receiving a string of customer backlash yesterday via social media, owners Amy and Samy Bouzaglo went off the wall. Read this Huffington Post piece to see just how bad it got. (Warning: NSFW.)
And it gets worse. Later that day, the posts disappeared, and the owners claimed that they'd been hacked:
The moral of the story is... well, there are a couple of morals to this story.
1. If you want customers to perceive your business as thriving and well-run, you probably shouldn't agree to appear on a TV show about how badly you need help.
2. Learn to suck up your pride and take good advice.
3. Own up to your mistakes.
4. Aim to make your customers happy. (Not throwing insults at them on Facebook is a good start.)
What other tips do you have for avoiding an Amy's Baking Company-esque PR disaster?
P.S. Need help repairing your brand's reputation? We've got a few promotional ideas we think you'll love...