The long memory of the dissatisfied customer

I want to point you to Carol’s latest post over at May Dreams Gardens. She bought what she thought was a fruitless Liquidambar from her local garden center. After four years the tree started fruiting since it had been mis-labeled by the grower. When she went to the garden center to point this out she was told the manager would contact her. Six years later she still hasn’t received a call. If you run a garden center please take the time to read her post.

While the garden center has most likely long forgotten this event it's clear Carol hasn’t. Oh, and did we mention that in that time Carol started a popular garden blog. The garden center is very lucky that Carol hasn’t mentioned their name. You see many people find your company website using search engines. They type your business name and up come’s a page with all the relevant results. What if Carol’s post showed up in the search right next to your web page? People could read about her displeasure while contemplating visiting your store. Carol’s blog is so popular this is what would happen.

Besides handling the encounter wrong the nursery needs a way for the consumer to reach them and then expect a reply. How about a blog? If the owner of the nursery had a blog Carol could comment and receive an answer from the owner. Of course she shouldn’t have to end up using this method since her concerns should have been handled better in the first place, but still it should be available.

I think that a blog may be one way for a small business to show that it’s not afraid to talk to the consumer. Besides, a business that takes the time to blog, and answer comments sends the signal that it wants open communication and is less likely to be the type of business that doesn’t return phone calls.