Well if ever there was story that reinforced the power of the people in a business it is the now viral GASP story.
In the click of a mouse, the brand of GASP was placed into disrepute. And all because of one employee of the South Yarra store and the response of a ‘Customer Care’ employee at Head Office.
What this story does, besides emphasize the incredibly poor customer service delivered by an employee, backed by the Area Manager at Customer Care, is demonstrate the power of people in a business. Because of ‘Chris’ the infamous employee, GASP has had to close down their facebook page and have been subjected to social media slurring which has gone worldwide. The arrogant and dismissive nature of the response to a valid complaint is, in my opinion, unforgiveable. And it just may be the opinion of many other people who will now boycott the store or worse.
Poor customer service in retail is no surprise to me these days. It is the rule rather than the exception and it should be the other way around. While I have never experienced service quite like the GASP situation, I have been on the receiving end of bad service and it certainly leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
It was only recently where a good friend of mine organized her birthday at a supposed fantastic place in Armadale Victoria. I felt so sorry for her as the service we received was horrendous and I felt compelled to post my views on Urbanspoon. Funnily enough I was not alone.
The Brand Ambassadors in your business are without question the power in your business. Make no mistake about it. With the power of the internet and social media, a bad service experience will go viral at the click of a mouse. These stories on the net are etched in time. You can not delete them. They are there forever stored in history.
This GASP story is a timely reminder to protect your brand at all costs. Your people MUST and I emphasize MUST be a complimentary representation of your brand. The general public are getting much more courageous and less tolerant of poor service and products. They will voice their opinion and will encourage their peers to follow suit.
Given that more than 90% of people now trust peer recommendation and only 14% trust advertising, it is all ‘power to the people’. My clients will now be reminded even more why I am so focused on this for their business.
Make sure your people, your power, are your brand ambassadors in a true and positive way. Don’t allow it to be a ‘GASP’! (the company may well be adequately named).
If you haven’t read the story, you can read it here. It’s quite unbelievable even for the open-minded person.