Read my previous post: Google Plus Communities- A Great Place to Hangout!
So a negative review of your product appears in the New York Times and races around social media. You are the founder and visionary behind the product- what’s your reaction?
Probably shouldn’t be this, as tweeted by Elon Musk to his 130,000+ followers:
NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn’t actually charge to max & took a long detour.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 11, 2013
I know he’s reacting to a negative review in a respected and well-read newspaper but I gotta wonder: Is this how Tesla will also react to average customer complaints? Or was this special because the article appeared in the NY Times?
I have managed customer service via social media. I have had to deal with bad reviews and angry customers, customers who are “happy” to tell everyone how much your product sucks. I understand the frustration of people putting data out there that you feel paints your company in an unjust and unfair manner.
First rule of customer service: Empathize. Why not sympathize with the customer, apologize for their bad experience, let them know your company is committed to providing the highest standards of service and safety.
- use your data to show where the customer may have erred or misinterpreted what they were seeing
- let them know the experience could have been different
- thank them for testing the car and invite them to test it again in the future
I understand Elon has to protect his brand. I know that Tesla is his baby and he wants it to succeed beyond his wildest dreams. But a culture of good customer service in a brand starts from the top down- keep the anger in the office, not on Twitter where it’s visible to all.
In my opinion, calling out a reporter like that- not the best PR, damage control strategy. And I certainly hope that’s not the type of response current customers receive when they complain.
Because at the end of the day, you may have the best product out there. But if you fail to provide adequate customer service, people will leave you. Unless you’re Facebook, of course