I know, EPIC FAIL is no longer popular to say or use, but this was such a fail that it has to be called an EPIC FAIL.
I was watching the newest Kitchen Nightmares. Chef Ramsay was visiting Amy’s Baking Company. It was one of the most surprising episodes I have ever seen. If you are a fan of the show you know how the show goes. If you don’t watch it, you should, but let me explain the pace of the show though. Chef Ramsay shows up, talks for a bit, eats (usually hating the food), leaves, comes back to observe dinner, inspects the disgusting fridge, leaves, comes back to talk about the nights service, people change so they rebuild the restaurant and life is good for a while.
While at Amy’s Baking Company Chef Ramsay meets with the owners and eats only to discover they are extremely dysfunctional. The owners are husband and wife. The husband was the money and the wife was the cook. Both resistant to change. After dinner service, when Chef Ramsay returns the next morning to discuss what needs to change and share his strategy for the change it all goes sideways. Chef Ramsay actually leaves for the first time ever, but that is not the EPIC FAIL. There are actually two EPIC FAILS, the first during the initial chat and then after the show aired.
EPIC FAIL #1
During the initial conversation with the owners there was a few red flags. The biggest red flag was how the cook, the wife, talked about haters. She said there were some haters writing negative reviews about them so they decided to stand up to them. This made me say... AHH! Such a bad decision! They also made a statement that customers are not always right. Although this is true, it is not how you respond to customers. Some customers you will never satisfy, but you try. You respond like they are always right. Not these owners.
The fact that they “stood up to” the reviewers was such a red flag because you don't stand up to them. What they should have done was simply respond to them and tried to make it better. This type of response online will give you traction with people who are not your audience. It also tells people you care about them as a customer.
EPIC FAIL #2
After the show aired there were several people to post on the company's Facebook Page, some really negative and some outright mean. Amy’s Baking Company decided to take a stand, Such a HORRIBLE idea! They could have had an awesome response to the negativity and grew their business tremendously. They didn’t! Honestly they responded so poorly that it will most likely cost them their business.
How they should have responded should have been with some humility and thankfulness. They should have deleted some of the inappropriate comments but replied kindly to the others. Simply telling them thanks for watching the show and asking them to come give them a try so they can show how they have improved since Chef Ramsay’s visit. That response would have pulled people into the business, growing their business.
It will always upsets me and baffles me when companies “take a stand” against the “online haters.”
Honestly, if you want a strategy on how to deal with negative reviews and comments call me at 877-494-9668. Each company is different, each review is different but we can set up a contingency plan so you have a foundation for responding. You can also email me or write me on Facebook or Twitter.
You can read more on Mashable: Restaurants Epic Facebook Meltdown
Posted on Mon, May 20, 2013