I’m not one to often complain on social media. Chronic whiners tend to damage their own credibility and cause people to eventually tune them out. There are times, though, when I feel like it’s warranted. My litmus test for this: if I want to prevent a bad experience from happening to others.
Such was the case earlier this month when I had a bad experience at a local pizza place. Even though it was the day before a holiday, the service I received was awful. The food took over two hours to arrive and our order was wrong. I debated whether or not to share my story on Facebook, before deciding that I should let others know.
Screenshot of original post (name of restaurant deleted for privacy purposes):
The responses to my subsequent post were overwhelming. I discovered that this pizza place is one of the few gluten-free places in the area, which prompted some to fear for how that type of food is handled if they mess up a salad order. A few others shared that they had similar experiences with this very same restaurant. One woman told me that she is friends with the owner and that she let her know about my experience. The owner asked if she could release my name for the purpose of sending a gift card as a way to apologize.
I told her that was fine – but I also sent a message to their Facebook fan page with a detailed account of how my order was handled. Fortunately, the owner responded and confirmed that they were sending me the certificate.
Once it arrived, I let everyone know. And, I also let them know when we placed our next order. Our food arrived on time – even early – and the order was correct. In fact, it was a good meal!
I don’t necessarily advocate going to social media every time we experience below average customer service, but I do think – in some cases – appropriately voicing your complaints on social media can help the business address its customer service issues, leading to a better experience for all. It’s important to be mindful of the relevance of your complaint (helping your community) rather than simply posting emotional, over-the-top and ultimately unproductive complaints. I also think it’s appropriate to post an update on social media if the business responds to your complaint to your satisfaction.
Because of this incident, I hope the pizza place continues to operate to the standards we received most recently. But, most importantly, because of the way they handled my feedback, I am more likely to recommend them others.