Never Treat Your Customers Like This

Some people never cease to amaze.

Just read:

http://penny-arcade.com/2011/12/26/just-wow1

and http://www.geekosystem.com/avenger-controller-pr-berates-penny-arcade/

I learned of this situation via @reverendfitty and this tweet.

Takeaways:

1. I think there is a misperception amongst some people (knuckleheads, we’ll call them) that any publicity is good publicity. No, bad PR is bad. A local restaurant made similar mistakes, saying whatever they wanted and then thinking that deleting the offending comments made it all better (that restaurant is now closed). Yes, you can say whatever you want anytime you want; it’s a free country. However, know that you’re going to get some blowback shrapnel coming your way. If receiving such negative publicity is part of your business plan, then have at it. Otherwise, you’re probably sullying your brand.

2. Also, I don’t think these same knuckleheads understand the multiplicative power of social media. You simply cannot treat people like crap, because it’s so damned easy to out such behavior. Why would you ever say things like this to people, either online or off? Slightly offtopic: I’ve always wondered about the legality of posting such emails. Do you need permission? And does that depend on what state you’re in? I’ll have to ask my friends @CraigGMoore and @JeffSchultzEsq about this.

3. Finally, this is not a social media problem. This is just a human relations problem. This is one person or set of people treating another human being like shit. Social media takes the shitty treatment and airs it out for all to see. I’d like to think we’d see less (or none) of this as time goes by and more such examples are made public. But we should be clear that this is not a social media issue. It’s just a company treating its customers poorly.

REALLY AWESOME POSTSCRIPT: Out of business?

REALLY AWESOME POSTSCRIPT 2 – Here’s a 2012 business goal for you: make sure people DON’T make movies like this about your business! (WARNING: this video is rated R – it contains foul language. Do not watch it if you don’t want to hear such words)

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  • Tony

    Great story. It’s hard to believe business people have not figured this out yet especially PR people in that industry. A server friend of mine in his late 40s was recently commenting to me that he hates the fact that “any idiot” with a computer can just go review or comment on their restaurant experience but they might not have any credibility. I told him they are credible because they’re a paying customer commenting on their perceived experience and they have always had the ability to go tell everyone they know now they just have the power of social media behind them. I told him he has the ability to have a voice in social media too and can do a lot with it to help shape the conversation in a positive way for the business. Examples like this really show the wrong way to use that voice.

    • http://twitter.com/RizzoTees Chris Reimer

      Restauranteurs most definitely have it tough here, I think. People can go and flame the hell out of your restaurant. Your only hope is to be awesome, take care of people, and inspire them to make positive comments.