Customer Service Extremes : Brick And Mortar & The Social Web

We’re all customers and feel passionate about what we like as well as what we don’t. The same goes with the customer service experience where our money is spent. In the past week I had two customer service experiences that were such polar opposites that I feel compared to share them both!

Having a meal like millions of do a day and eating Wendy’s chicken nuggets when I bite into one that was so hard, could have broken a tooth, nearly swallowing & choking on what I bit into, was able to spit it out to discover what looks to be a BONE fragment.  Now I understand that this food is all mechanically manufactured but having something in your food that can cause one bodily harm is pretty unacceptable, right?  So I reach out to Wendy’s on their website via the contact form, to explain my situation and near choking experience. 5 days go by and not one person reaches out to me at all.

Frustrated with this company’s lack of quality concern, I take it to the social web (who doesn’t now?). Post on the Facebook page about the experience in hopes that someone would see it at the company and get in touch.  What happens? Wendy’s deletes my post!  3 hours later, I post my disappointment with them ignoring and then deleting my post and they just go ahead and delete that one as well.. It would appear that this company doesn’t care to have me as a customer anymore!

As you know, I’m a big music fan!  3,000+ cds and 200+ lps and counting in my collection. One vinyl I hadn’t yet added to my collection was Metallica’s self titled album (aka ‘The Black Album’). Stopped into F.Y.E. today to pick up this 2LP vinyl set. I get home and open it up to notice the LP jacket is pretty well dinged up and creased. I take good care of my music collection and am a Metallica collector. I didn’t want my brand new vinyl already to be beat up!  I called up the store and they told me that they totally understand and just to bring it back in and they would order a new one.

I get to the store, and apparently the system will not let them order this title. She apologized a few times for this and refunded me CASH even though I was returning something that was opened. (This is almost unheard of in retail land!). I walk out of F.Y.E. with no Metallica vinyl but still a happy customer base on the good customer service they provided!

There you have two completely different experiences. One left me angry at a company’s lack of service.  The other left me happy even though they were unable to provide the product I was seeking.

The point I want to make after this long-winded blog post is for you companies & marketing folks who maintain the social web presence for a company.  Listen and engage!  Had Wendy’s simply replied with a “We’re so sorry about what you found in your food and hope you are okay,” I would have accepted that and moved right on!

No matter if you’re a small or a large company, you cannot afford to ignore your customers. I urge all of you in business to stay connected to your customers and they will pay you back tenfold.  Negative feedback is important. It’s how you respond to such things that defines you.  As a marketer and customer, it feels quite insulting to know when your comments are not only ignored but deleted by a company who can’t manage to step up to the plate!

Disappointed but not surprised at Wendy’s for your quality control of your food but most importantly, your customer service!  You should take notes from the folks at F.Y.E. in Berkley, MI. I can assure you that I will continue to do business with this record store!

Comments (3)

  1. I did not even know there was a F.Y.E in Berkley. I guess you learn something every day. I hope Wendy’s get their act together you deserved to have an acknowledgement.

  2. So… With Wendy’s, you fill out a comment form and you are peeved that you didn’t get ahold of anybody? Did you ever think that spam filters, or just lack of monitoring an account that no doubtly gets tons of it might be to blame?

    Did you try CALLING the chain, the franchise owner, or the store? I’m sure that if you went back into the store they would have given you satisifcation.

  3. Michael Grosvenor

    Could not get ahold of anyone. Filled out their online form twice (5 days apart) and also posted to their Facebook account (which they promptly deleted as opposed to trying to contact me).. So am I pissed? You bet. They can and should do better.. And with the unfriendly ‘could care less’ folks who work at this place… I would not doubt I’d just get a glare back if I mentioned that there was a piece of bone in my food.

    and Jamie… the F.Y.E. on Woodward was the last Harmony House before it turned into an F.Y.E. The great thing about that location is that they actually carry vinyl.

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