The assignment for this week asked us to review two negative comments made on a hypothetical Facebook account and then reply to them with moderation. During our response, we need to maintain moderation while still acknowledging the complaint and expressing the fact that we are listening. As an academic advisor, I think I am good at handling complaints with my students, but social media adds a new challenging layer because I do not have the ability to read body language and non-verbal cues from my client. The first example is about a restaurant and is as follows:
“I am disgusted about the state of your store on 1467 Justin Kings Way. The counter was smeared in what looked like grease and the tables were full of trash and remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”
I think my response to this post would simply be to apologize and to express an interest in gathering further information and making it relevant that I am listening and looking to take corrective action. My response would be something like this:
“I am sorry to hear about your experience with our restaurant. We strive to maintain the highest standards and this clearly was not reflected in your visit. Could you please private message me more information about the situation including the day and time of your visit as well as any other specifics that you might find necessary. That way, I can look into taking the proper corrective action. Thanks!”
Short, sweet and to the point. This response acknowledges the fact that I am listening and interested in taking the appropriate corrective action. It didn’t talk too specifically about that corrective action and it didn’t offer some kind of reimbursement. It was moderate. If the client is willing to go more in depth with me, I might be willing to later offer reimbursement or a coupon for a future visit, but I do not want to advertise that on the public Facebook page. This next situation involves a news agency and may be slightly more complicated:
“Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.”
I think my response for this one will try to acknowledge the client’s problem with the reporting without necessarily admitting fault. It will embrace the fact that the debate can be ongoing and may even offer a “higher up” to contact should the client still remain unhappy.
“Thank you for sharing your feedback on this situation and our reporting of it. As you know, the Middle East is a very complicated situation and while we try to remain as impartial as possible, we understand that any discussion of this topic will often lead to engaging discussion. We here at JSR TV are thankful to live in a country where we can have this debate and would encourage you to keep on having it. I see that you are from Pennsylvania, here is a list of representatives that you may want to consider sharing your concerns with. I have also forwarded your complaint to our producer, Gary Dell’Abate, in the hopes that he will take your thoughts into consideration for future broadcasts. Thanks!”
What would you have done differently in these situations?
Should the first situation have admitted a little more fault?