Customer centric businesses in the era of the review
TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, and Foursquare are just some names that have started to orbit around what customers have to say about products, services, restaurants, food, supermarkets, among others.
How much has this affected our relationship with businesses?
We arrive and right up-front we have to wait 30 minutes to go in. There’s a line, and the place is packed. We didn’t know this, and this restaurant is so new the number is not yet on the Yellow Pages or the local phone guide so we couldn’t call to make a reservation.
After being waiting for 45 minutes outside we finally get in, and the excitement starts to kick in. The waitress brings the menu, and we begin to be delighted by the ingredients in every dish. We do not recognize half of them, but everything sounds incredibly delicious.
We order some beverages, and 15 minutes later we’re still waiting for them to be brought to us and to order our starter and entrées. We are not pleased with the service, and we are starting to get frustrated.
After more than 45 minutes of sitting inside the restaurant, we finished our dishes. Everything was delicious, but the service was not by all means excellent. It was dreadful, and we asked for the manager to complain about it.
Long gone are the days our lives were trapped in an analogical world. We have never had so much information at the grasp of our hands. In under one second, we have access to the entire knowledge of roughly 5000 years of recorded history of the humankind.
Technology has set the power on the consumer
However, let’s imagine we didn’t check on Google and we’re there waiting outside to be seated. Fifteen minutes in, we are switching apps (of course we had our smartphones on our hands already, are we neanderthals?) to Twitter and we look for the restaurant’s handle and mention it in a not so warm tweet with a hashtag similar to #badservice or #poorservice.
We would wait some minutes for any response from the restaurant’s community manager trying to calm us down, but nothing happens. We go then to Instagram and try to locate them. We know many businesses are switching Twitter with Instagram to DM customers with complaints. However, there is no certainty that we will be answered there.
The night goes through, and we shot some pictures, the dishes are stunning remember, and we share it on our Instagram as ordinary people do, right?. We ask to speak to the manager, and we hear that same story. The place is very crowded but everybody’s having a good time, nobody complains about it. Nevertheless, he says he’s sorry we haven’t had a pleasant evening, and he’s offering free dessert and beverages to compensate for that bad experience, and we feel like some justice has been made.
Something has changed indeed
Even though word-of-mouth still has a great deal on your business’ perception by other customers, the reviewing platforms like Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor are the ones that magnify its power and impact.
Business owners have found the hard way that the key to a successful business is in significant part to have a customer-focused service. Taking into account every pain point and every aspect of the customer’s journey will secure a great relationship with them and will resonate in excellent customer service.
What are your thoughts about this? Do you still call it “Digital Marketing”?
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