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ONLINE BUSINESS

Dislike: How Not to Treat Your Customers on Facebook
 

The two owners of Amy's Baking Company Boutique & Bistro clearly need some training in social media. Here's what they got wrong.

Samy & Amy

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The Internet knows all, and when it comes to engaging your customers, you can't afford to screw up. 

Apparently, the owners of Amy's Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bakery in Scottsdale, Arizona missed the memo. As if it wasn't bad enough chef Gordan Ramsay dropped them from his show Kitchen Nightmares for being too difficult to work with, the married couple, Samy and Amy Bouzaglo, blasted angry customers on Facebook Monday evening. 

As BuzzFeed illustrates in a series of cringe-worthy screengrabs, things spiralled out of control pretty quickly. All caps, profanity, and insults were hurtled, with the Bouzaglos calling out Reddit and Yelp, not to mention everyone else.

Barring losing their tempers, here are three things the bakery owners should have done differently, per The Guardian contributor and CMO of international consultancy Bluewolf, Corinne Sklar:

Let someone else handle it. 
If you're overwhelmed and ready to snap, let some more objective experts take care of the problem. There's value in having social-media savvy employees, especially ones who might know how to address online flare-ups better than you, says Sklar. The way you want to handle it might not be appropriate. 

Get personal--but not too much.
Sometimes companies take the whole "engagement" thing too far. It's good to be yourself online, but not when you're feeling emotional. If you're this close to snapping, remind yourself that it's not about you--just the business you happen to operate. Focus on the customer instead. 

Listen to your customers.
No one likes to hear hurtful things, but if a customer's upset, you would do well to listen. "By taking the time to listen to your customers across social channels, your organization can become empowered to turn a customer's negative experience into a positive one," says Sklar. And if their expectations are met, chances are they'll move on more quickly--and even become advocates for your company.

IMAGE: Facebook
Last updated: May 14, 2013

JILL KRASNY is the associate editor for Inc. Prior to this position, she was a writer for MTV and Esquire. Previously, she held positions at TheStreet and Reader's Digest. Krasny is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Communication.
@jillkrasny




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