BY NOW WE’RE ALL USED TO — AND EXPECT — transparency from online marketers.
If your business has any kind of online presence, you’re being commented on, blogged about and reviewed here, there and everywhere. So, potential customers who find you online have a wealth of peer-to-peer data to review before they decide whether you’re worthy of their business.
But what about the customers who stumble upon you in the real live physical world? If they don’t have their smartphones handy, you could easily hide any less than stellar reviews from their eyes, right? Bravo to Bob’s Clam Hut of Kittery, ME, which took the opposite approach.
While driving through Kittery on vacation this summer, we noticed a large banner on the restaurant’s fence. “We’re #2!?” it trumpeted, slyly noting their indignation at not taking top honors for best lobster roll and best fried clams in New England Cable News’ 2010 poll.
That sense of humor drew big props from my hubby and I, so we stopped there with the kids for lunch a few days later. While waiting outside the restroom for my young son, I noticed two bulletin boards on the wall.
One, rather predictably, was filled with positive online reviews from customers about the restaurant, nestled since 1956 on Route 1 and now smack dab in the middle of Kittery’s swarm of outlet malls.
The other, however, was less predictable. It showcased less than stellar reviews and complaints — and how Bob’s responded to the customers and tried to make things right.
It was a fabulous bit of transparency, and showed that they weren’t afraid to let diners behind the curtain. After all, every restaurant has an off day or shift. It’s how they address customer reaction when this happens that separates the establishments people will return to again and again from those to which they’ll never return.
So, are you open with your customers, or are you hiding in a retail clam shell?
By the way, while I haven’t posted a review anywhere, the food was great and the sweet lady behind the counter couldn’t have been more helpful, suggesting a kids’ meal for my son that I didn’t know was available and was a better deal than what I had originally ordered for him.
See You in Boston?
And speaking of places you can get great seafood, Boston is our destination this month. The entire Chief Marketer editorial team will be at the DMA:2011 conference Oct. 1-6. Please stop by the Penton Media booth to say hi and tell us what you’d like to see on the print and web pages of Chief Marketer.