the frequency a kenny chung blog

September 2nd, 2011
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I’ve recently become big on using Yelp (my newly minted “Elite” profile is here: kennychung.yelp.com). So it’s no surprise that with more reviews, I’ve been getting more messages from business owners; it definitely comes with the territory.

With Yelp, there’s very little a business owner or customer service rep can do in the way of preemption. Therefore, a lot of these messages are bound to be reactionary. Responses to reviews, whether good or bad. Very recently, I’ve had instances of both.

Take for example, my glowing review of Blue Water Grill in Union Square. I’ll spare you the details of my meal, but all in all, I had a great time. A couple of days after leaving the review (during Restaurant Week NYC), I received the following Yelp message from someone on their customer service team:

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know about your recent visit with us at Blue Water Grill!
It truly means a lot to us to hear from you and we will consider your feedback with the team here.
We look forward to seeing you again soon and wish you all the best!
PS- Caught the typo! THANK YOU!

Not only was it a friendly message acknowledging that they appreciated my feedback, but the last line regarding the typo means she actually took the time to read my lengthy review and not just take the four stars at face value. Wow, that’s good community management. And now, they have free press from my blog as a result as well.

On the other end of the spectrum, I had a very very terrible experience at Guitar Center at the Atlantic Mall in Brooklyn. As a result of my scathing (and 100% accurate) review, I received this message on Yelp:

My name is and I run Customer Service for Guitar Center. I’d love an opportunity to help turn this around for you. Please email me at xxxxx@guitarcenter.com and I’ll gladly jump in.

I’m all for people reaching out and trying to change my perception or rid the bad taste of poor customer treatment (as well as potential future discounts), so I replied to the rep. Told him my story, and he said he would have someone contact me. It’s been about two weeks now, and I haven’t received any messages or follow-up. So not only is my negative review staying up, but they actually got my hopes up and are now lower in my opinion than before.

For any community managers out there reading this, here’s a basic tip- if you’re going to try to do some reputation management, you better do it right.

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