By now you’ve probably heard about the intense meltdown that happened last night on the Facebook page for Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro, a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you missed the news the lowdown is this, the owners of the restaurant were on Kitchen Nightmares and Gordon Ramsey dumped the couple because they were too difficult to work with.
Fast forward to last night where the couple took to Facebook to defend themselves against comments on their company’s page. The comments from the couple quickly escalated to all cap threats and a badly Photoshopped Reddit image.
As of right now there’s over 100 reviews and many of the front page reviews are negative because of how the couple handled themselves on Facebook.
While there is a place for “all press is good press,” this is a social media nightmare for the company and their extra scrutiny is likely to only get them more voyeurs than customers.
So what can small businesses learn from this?
1. Respond to negative comments. There’s a lot of great ways to deal with negative comments, being defensive is not one of them. Take time to acknowledge negative feedback and respond genuinely and apologetically. For more help with how to handle negative comments check this great article by Rachel Strella.
2. Don’t respond to negative comments if you’re upset. Having a social media manager or consultant might be a great way to avoid meltdowns like this because they can offer professional, non-emotional responses which will communicate a better business culture than all caps ever could.
3. Have a plan. If you know something can be particularly negative coming up (like their episode of Kitchen Nightmares coming out), have a game plan set before hand so you know how to handle negative comments or potential negative comments. Even if you don’t know when negative comments might come, have a policy for how your company might respond to them.
4. Understand the power of social media networks. To me the craziest part of this whole story is when they started attacking reddit. Reddit is a powerful community that really rallies around causes, attacking them is kin to attacking a bear cub – be prepared to be taken down with extreme prejudice.
5. Even if you’re personality challenged, be a professional. When you’re running a small business you rely on customers and, no matter how cliche it is, “the customer is always right.” If you know that your personality is brash and throat-cut (which is great for making a business), then hire someone else to do it for you.
Basically, be professional, even if people are being mean. It’ll get you more sales. Meltdowns will just get you more voyer vultures.
Image source: eater.com