Last Summer I went to the Blue Glass conference in LA. Having never been to LA, I came in that weekend to see some sights and hang out with my good friend Joanna Lord as well. It was an eventful weekend including a visit to a friend’s church. It was there I got to see Reese Witherspoon in person. Pretty cool huh?
But I digress. What this post is really about is the paradigm to reward those customers that bitch, moan, and complain loudly. On the internet and in search marketing, companies spend thousands of dollars dealing with unhappy customers. In many instances they ignore the customers that could potentially make them more money in the future by being advocates.
During my stay at the Marriott, my first night was met with very little sleep. My tweet stream shows the progression of annoyance. In short, there was a wedding … and the people staying on my floor were very drunk.
Okay, I didn’t mention Marriott here, but there is the first indicator.
There is the main mention. And I’m defending them. I mean it’s not their fault that there are annoying people in the world right? Right.
Rant continues … and yes, Josh Groban makes me happy … and calms me down.
A friend notices, and at this point I am pissed.
And now more so … that was the last time someone knocked though. 😉
And now still sticking up for them. What do I hear in return from this on Twitter? Nothing. I mention it to the front desk the next morning and they apologize. But it makes me wonder, if I had ranted, raved, and made a scene … could I have gotten a free night? Upgrade? I hear about people doing this all the time but can’t bring myself to do it.
Here is my point though.
Scenario 1: A customer complains of noise, yells and screams, and demands an upgrade to another room.
Typical Response: Giving what this customer wants to silence their negativity. The irate customer is silenced never mentioning the event again.
Scenario 2: A customer gets upset but understands. Mentions the incident to the company.
Typical Response: They get an apology.
What should happen: In addition, they are compensated with a free night, spa treatment, or even just a few free drinks.
In Return: They then spread the word to friends, family, and maybe even online.
Word of mouth is the highest trusted form of advertising there is, so why not give up a $100 to a customer that may make you thousands in return? Think on that. </rant>