In this day and age, you’d expect entrepreneurs to be aware of what’s important for their businesses. Many do, but a few don’t.
What’s really important for a business? Who should a business really care about? And, why? The answer is really simple, it’s ME (the consumer, obviously) and it’s because I pay you (the business) a good sum of money to keep me thoroughly satisfied.
If you own a business, think of it this way: you’re the masseuse and it’s your responsibility to ensure that I have a happy ending, every single time — literally. Okay, maybe that sounds gross, but I hope you get the general idea of how a customer’s satisfaction (no pun intended) is important for the success of a business.
While many go through extraneous measures to ensure that their customers are happy, a select “few” (I refer to them as the entrepreneurially-disabled) feel that they can just treat their customers anyhow they want to. Why, I wonder? Is it because they feel that society owes them for being “great”? Or, is it because they forget that we, “the customers” are a sensitive bunch who own iPhones and Facebook accounts with “friends” whom we never talk to, “friends” that are willing to back us up on our quest for social change with their biased opinions and a hash tag? I, personally, think it’s the latter.
One such company to recently fall prey to the melodrama of a dissatisfied customer and other vigilantes on Facebook is the Fancy Breakfast Club (a.k.a FBC). The Fancy Breakfast Club is a home-based private kitchen in an undisclosed location (some say they are at Jalan Limau Purut, Bangsar) that can cater to up to 33 guests (not overweight, I assume) in one sitting. The whole issue came to be when a certain customer was unable to secure her reservation, as she didn’t have access to online banking. Yes, you read that right: she didn’t have access to online banking. And here I was thinking that we’re in the year 2015.
Anyway, the customer proceeded to contact FBC to enquire about her reservation, only to be told that the place was full and that she was the first person to encounter such a problem. I feel that FBC raised a fair point: it’s 2015! How can one not have access to online banking? I just don’t get it. The customer then decided to post a message on FBC’s Facebook page and all was well, until FBC responded to her.
FBC responded by apologising to the customer in a “snarky” manner because, you know, they are “successful”. With over 1000 likes on Facebook and their ability to cook up magical sausages, how else did you expect them to respond? Politely? Let’s be real — being snarky was the cool thing to do.
Now, although their response reminds me of Gordon Ramsay, it didn’t fare well with others on the social network. The vigilantes ran to the customer’s rescue, and within a couple of hours, they managed to take down the snarky FBC.
While I’m all for customers getting the treatment they deserve, I’m not for the idea of a business shutting down because a person’s feelings got hurt. Unfortunately, these are the times that we are living in and businesses should be aware of the power of social media. It’s not as though they can force their customers to relax and not be so sensitive — that would be too much to ask for, wouldn’t it? And for that reason, many companies go the extra mile in ensuring that their customers are happy. A company that I find to be great at this is Amazon. Have a look for yourself!
What you see here is just an example of how customers are treated at the world’s most customer-centric company, Amazon. By going the extra mile, the customer service sales rep placed a smile on the customer’s face, and it got the company quite a bit of attention on social media. Free publicity, at absolutely no cost at all! I shop at Amazon myself, and I know for a fact that they would take great care of FBC’s customers. Alas, they don’t sell sausages and scrambled eggs.
Dear Businesses, you now operate in a world where everyone has the opportunity to express their opinions — regardless of how moronic they may be — on social media. So be kind, patient, and loving, and always remember that all that is needed to wipe you out from the face of this world is a cold, ruthless hashtag.
R.I.P. Fancy Breakfast Club! May you always rest in pieces!