Online reviews … what a tangled web of opinions, truths and lies our world has weaved. Businesses have built entire operations around monitoring this monster. At Speak Social, Review Monitoring is one of the many important online services that we offer to brands. On a daily basis, we comb through review after review, thanking people for the good ones, and being the first line of damage control when a bad review comes through.
Call me a little late to the party, but last night, something clicked. I realized that you are all a bunch of crybabies. If even the smallest thing goes wrong with your customer experience, you complain on Yelp, sob on Facebook, and rattle off tweets like there will be no tomorrow.
Perhaps this is the product of a bunch of nobodies, who quickly became somebodies (I use that term very loosely), simply because they have thousands of Twitter fans. However, this celebrity-level entitlement thing is a bit over the top … wouldn’t you agree? After all, you may have thousands of followers, and you may run a fantastic blog, but your micro-celebrity status does not mean that you deserve some kind of special experience from a business … and it certainly does not make you immune to cordially and appropriately dealing with situations that the rest of us are able to handle on a daily basis.
My customer experiences are no different than yours. Most of them are good, some of them are not so good, and some are completely horrible. Am I saying that I have never taken to Yelp and bashed a restaurant? No. In fact, I can bash with the best of them, but there are levels of etiquette that I follow before I take my beef online. I can almost hear my mother’s voice as I write this, but she was right when she said that no one likes a crybaby. You have a mouth. You have a real voice. Use them.
If something goes wrong during your experience, talk to a manager.
Did the cashier give you the wrong change? Talk to a manger.
Did your server drop soup on your wife’s new blah, blah, blah … say it with me now: TALK TO A MANAGER. At least give them one opportunity to fix it for you in person before you call out anyone and everyone online.
If the employee is unable to fix the problem, and the manger is unwilling to help, and the owner is nowhere to be found, THEN take your opinions to the interwebs. Before that point, you’re just a passive-aggressive whiner, which is the worst kind.
No business is perfect. When servicing the public on a daily basis, things will go wrong. This is how human-to-human interactions work, simply do the math. You are a human, and you are not perfect; and you are dealing with other humans who (just like you) are not perfect, so …
In my line of work, if it looks like a hipster and Instagrams like a hipster … it’s probably a hipster.
Try treating the situation like a human first … preferably a grown-up human, because nobody likes a crybaby.