a food/wine/marketing blog that is funny by accident, sarcastic on purpose.

Posts tagged ““customer service”

customer service in the consumer review era.

Years ago, back when the terms blog and twitter were still unknown, if restaurants, retailers or wineries provided terrible customer service then the word only got around to the visitors immediate friends and family.  If it was a truly horrific act of bad customer service or product failure, then maybe the word would spread a bit further.  Of course this is not the world we live in now.

As shown by Lisa de Bruin’s trip to Domaine Chandon, Gary Vaynerchuk’s visit at Mondrian, a “hip” hotel in Miami, as well as my recent trip to Korbel, a bad experience is not only is talked about online – it has the ability to “go viral.”  Consumer review site’s such as Yelp (even with their problems) and personal blogs have had a great impact, both positively and negatively on the service industry.  It isn’t just wine reviewers or food critics that are telling the world their opinion.

You can bitch all you want, but this trend is not going away anytime soon.  The internet is here, and social tools are just making it easier and faster for people to voice their opinions.  Go ahead and complain that these reviews are not from trained professionals, who know what they are talking about, or negative reviews could be from disgruntled employees, or that positive reviews could even be from someone affiliated with the company.

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Okay, hopefully now that you are done complaining about the situation you can take a deep breath and accept that consumer written reviews are not going away…. Or, hopefully, you are one of the ones reading this that understands that this new form of reviewing the service industry can actually help businesses.

What some people don’t get is that BOTH negative & positive postings provide a great opportunity for publicity.  The online landscape allows businesses to respond to negative comments and even generate positive posts by asking visitors to post reviews, or just by delivering customer service that is truly above and beyond.  Those businesses that adapt to the new era of online voices and not only respond to what is said, but actually LISTEN and (if need be) make changes will be the ones who will make it through.  Yes, I do know there is more to running a business then just this — just stick with me here….

Service businesses HAVE TO adapt to the landscape or watch their competition, that are paying attention, take away customers.  They have to know that in this new online era that they truly have to go above and beyond when it comes to customer service.  If you are a business that needs some help with online publicity or even an evaluation of your place of business, then please visit here.

I will leave you with some quotes from Gary:

“Stop age discrimination in the tasting room because that 24 year old will go and blog about what kind of douche bags you are and no one will buy your wine.”

“Service industry is really going to start feeling these impacts.”


customer service, you are doing it right.

Everyone who is “online” knows all about what Tony Hsieh the CEO of Zappos is doing via Twitter to create a brand personality based on human interaction and honestly.

Just today, I read a great article about Bill Taylor‘s visit to the Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas in which he describes what new employees have to go through to work there.

Zappos hires new employees, provides a four-week training period that immerses them in the company’s culture.

Then, a week into training, Zappos offers them $1,000 to quit…. Why? According to the article, it is because if the employee takes the money, then they are not the type of person they want working there anyways….

Coming from an ex-Starbucks employee, I can easily say that other companies in the customer service industry need to pay attention to what Zappos is doing. Their obsession with customer service has turned them into a billion dollar company. Their continuation of their free shipping , easy to use 800 number and free return service is a welcome change from Best Buys’ new policy of not being able to return items when you lost your receipt and paid cash or numerous amount of time spent on hold with AT&T.

My favorite quotes from the article:

“So the value proposition is a winner. But it’s the emotional connection that seals the deal.”

“Companies don’t engage emotionally with their customers—people do.”


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