How to respond to bad press online

07/18/2009

Following up on my earlier post about customer service being the new marketing, I just came across a great example of how your business should respond to bad press online.

TTAC BlogFor some reason, an insensitive phone call with a Spanish speaking customer was recorded and uploaded to YouTube, to the embarrassment of Frank Myers Auto Maxx. It got picked up by a very popular blog, The Truth About Cars, giving it broad exposure. Immediately the comments started coming, all of them disparaging to the dealer.

Fortunately, the owner of the dealership was paying attention, and responded quickly in the comments of the blog:

frankmyersauto :
July 17th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I am the owner of Frank Myers Auto Maxx and I appreciate the person that brought this sick and pathetic video to my attention. Yes, it was made at my dealership but I can assure you that this type of behavior is NOT tolerated when it is known about. It is unfortunate that the “good guys” in the industry are not spotlighted more and this is the type of news that makes the headlines. I have called and personally apologized to the customer for this fiasco, I have had it removed from Youtube, and the people involved are being dealt with according to our strict company policy. In addition, all employees will be attending a mandatory sensitivity class. Once again, I owe anyone that had to sit through this embarrasing video an apology from the bottom of my heart and “thank you” for bringing it to my attention.

Great response – note that the subsequent comments turned around completely, becoming sympathetic with a business owner who can’t control everything his employees do, and thanking him for addressing it properly. Liability turned into an asset – done.