Companies Can No Longer Punish Customers for Writing Negative Reviews
A couple in Plano, TX hired a local pet sitting company to look after their dogs and fish while they were on vacation. The customers weren’t terribly thrilled about the quality of service they received and shared their feedback publicly on Yelp in Oct. 2015.
The pet sitting company not only responded to that write-up, they followed it with a cease-and-desist notice directing the customer to remove their review. When they did not take their Yelp post down, the pet sitting company filed a $1 million lawsuit against the customer, accusing the couple of violating a non-disparagement clause in the pet sitter’s customer agreement. To no surprise, the pet sitting company lost in court. Does this sound unbelievable Unfortunately, this has become a recurring practice of companies, hidden clauses that prevent frustrated customers from sharing their unhappy experiences online. One classic online retailer, KlearGear fined customer $3,500 for a negative online review. While a hotel in Hudson, New York charges guests $500 for writing negative reviews online.
Gagging the Gag Orders
Recently, the House passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act that will make it illegal for companies to put so-called “gag orders” in their customer contracts that prevent consumers from sharing their honest opinions with the rest of the world. Now, if your Customer Experience stinks, you can no longer hide behind clauses. Fix it!
The Future of Customer Experience has Never Been Brighter
I am so excited to recognize the 2016 graduating class of the Customer eXperience Executive Academy. This group of brilliant and passionate people is obsessed with taking their organizations Customer Experience to world-class levels. This illustrious group is part of a special fraternity of only a few professionals in the world who have the distinction of being Certified Customer eXperience Executives.
My Favorite Color is Yellow
Be careful what you tell people to do. Your interpretation of something is not necessarily their interpretation. Watch this two-minute video of what is really wrong with customer service today in our businesses.
If it’s Worth Doing, It is Worth Doing Wrong
Arnie Malham is a friend and one of the highest rated Secret Service Summit speakers of all time. I am thrilled to announce that Arnie’s long awaited book, Worth Doing Wrong: The Quest to Build a Culture That Rocks is coming out today, November 9. This book is so overdue because Malham is legendary for the incredible internal culture he has built in his companies, constantly winning ‘the best places to work for’ in Nashville. When he shared his best practices at the 2013 Secret Service Summit, every attendee rushed to buy his book for more. At the time, Arnie didn’t have a book. Well, now he does. Worth Doing Wrong covers strategies for investing in your employees by banding together to smash business goals, creating win-win relationships, generating buzz, and building a rocking workplace.