“Excuse me, but do you mind filling our customer comment card”, said the waiter as he handed me the check. “Certainly”, I replied but what I should have said was, “Are you kidding? I already Foursqaured it, tweeted about it, and Facebooked it …”
Why should I fill out a customer comment card when I have already expressed what I thought about the food, the service, the lighting, the menu choice, and much more with millions of people online? Besides, what will you do with my comment card? You’re probably going to hide it away in a box, until you have enough in there to go through them, and when you actually do, you realize that I hated your food and I said I will never come to your restaurant again, and it took you a month to realize that! In the world of NOW – where every second counts, you are ancient history in my book!
I conducted a very small experiment – I looked up on Twitter (using Hootsuite) the words “Restaurant + Bad”, and below is a screen shot of what I got. I deleted the handle names for privacy purposes, but made sure to reflect that @K’s message was re-tweeted with comments – this points out the viral nature of customer feedback online. Try it for your other brand, I gave McDonald’s, SUBWAY, Burger King a shot – you’d be surprised at the enormous amount of feedback out there (both positive and negative).
NEW Facts to remember about customer feedback:
- Customers are not waiting for you to solicit their opinion about your service or product
- Customers are sharing their feedback about your service or product pre/during/and post their experience
- Customer’s voice is bolder and louder than ever, and echoes very far, and for very long
Drop the comment card and the tips below to better navigate your brand in this new era of engagement:
- Create a brand listening station to monitor what is being said about your brand
- Listen to what they’re saying about your competitors
- Location based social media networks (like Foursquare, Facebook Places, … etc.) allow you to locate and champion your brand ambassadors
During my work at SUBWAY®, management expressed their desire to be on social media but they also expressed their fear of losing control if they do! One thing companies do not seem to understand about social media is that empowerment of your customer is not something that belonged to you for you to give up. Customers are in control of your brand, and they can make it or break it. Cliché but true: “if you can’t beat them, join them”. Your brand is being dissected online whether you like it or not, and ignoring that will not make it go away. Think About It!