You’re Being Watched: By Your Customers
We’re all familiar with those old detective movies; a tall man with a hushed but authoritative voice lurks in the shadows (his face artfully hidden by a hat and trench), fervently murmuring observations into a winding tape recorder. While mobsters are generally familiar with these types of individuals, businesses are not. In a struggling economy the importance of customer service grows exponentially as businesses compete for consumer dollars. As a result, numerous websites devoted to ‘policing’ customer experiences have cropped up and they specialize in separating the good guys from the bad ones. However (unlike our dapper detective), these consumer P.I.’s are literally everywhere.
Now we’re not talking some little old lady typing ten words a minute about how the price of beans went up at the supermarket again, these guys mean business. The Consumerist, RipOffReport.com, and My3Cents.com are but a few of the websites broadcasting bad (and in some cases ridiculous) customer experience stories. The people behind Consumerist are slick, humorous, and putting up dozens of posts every day. Businesses of all kinds need to take these sites seriously; because they are taking customer service to task (and hopefully bringing it to new heights in the process).
Having an unflattering post go up on any one of these sites is certainly not ideal, but it should be taken as an opportunity. Face it, no business runs perfectly 100% of the time (sometimes a bill will be incorrect or an item sent slightly damaged). Most customers understand that – it’s how a business handles the situation after the fact that makes a difference. So listen to your customers, take responsibility for your actions and turn mistakes into opportunities to win back loyalty. As long as you’re one of the good guys, you’ve got nothing to hide.
Check out virtual detectives at Consumerist here: