One of my absolute FAVORITE marketing topics is "How to bury bad reviews." Whether we're talking about a disgruntled ex-employee trying to bring you down (and their friends and family), clients who had one bad experience (We're human. It happens.) OR the trolls who are just trying to get something for free by using the web to dramatize grievances for a public audience, you should know that burying their reviews is really pretty simple. (Ask me how to here.)
But what happens when your employee (or even you) makes a huge mistake and that mistake goes VIRAL!?
Let's back up just a sec: When I use the word, "viral" I'm not just talking about the embarrassment reaching a national scale. If your business is located in a close-knit community; the kind of town where word gets around quickly then the term, "viral" can mean something very different for you, but something just as damaging.
This recently happened to Waffle House when a customer took to Instagram as he (get this) COOKED HIS OWN FOOD because (wait for it....) the whole staff was ASLEEP Excuse me for just a moment as my unprofessional use of emojis takes over here but... 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
Ok. I'm better now. Let's move on...
I'm not here to talk to you about the employees because, let's face it: we will never know the whole story. Was the restaurant staffed by a one single mom working a double shift? Maybe someone left the gas on everyone simply passed out. Maybe it was just a whole lot of terrible management. Whatever the reason may be, there is only one fact here I know to be true:
Whoever handled the PR for this potential nightmare at Waffle House deserves a raise and a big, new comfy, waffle shaped chair for Christmas!
They did what any company would do. They pulled out their "customer service" hat to defuse the situation. But what everyone did not expect, was for their comment to end with the following:
YES! That, right there, is how you turn BAD publicity into POSITIVE publicity. Understand your audience. Don't treat every mistake at the end of the world. This is business, folks! MIstakes will be made. That is unavoidable. It's how you respond to those mistakes that makes all the difference.
Hats off to the PR team for Waffle House! On this Saturday... we salute you... and are strangely craving waffles.
AND that is my #RantONAStick this week! Join me for more by following me on Facebook.