A century ago, in small towns around North America, everyone in a community knew everyone else. You also knew all of the merchants and they knew you. Merchants were responsive to the needs and wants of their community. Customers could offer feedback and merchants listened.
Fast forward to today and in many ways we find ourselves in a very similar environment. With the Internet it is much easier to know about a business and if they make a mistake the community finds out about it, not just within a 50 kilometer radius but globally.
This is a story that has been unfolding in the last couple of weeks, it’s over the top, and it’s a textbook case in what not to do. First some background. The fiasco all started when a customer, Dave, that had ordered two game controllers from a company called Avenger Controls sent an email to find out the status of his order. Avenger Controller is a very small company and had contracted out their PR and social media to Ocean Marketing a company owned by Paul Christoforo.
Chistoforo’s handling of the customer relationship is shocking. He’s arrogant, abusive and drops names of people he doesn’t know. The online community has become involved and turned on Christoforo. I’ve read a number of accounts and feel the best coverage is on Games Beat by writer Sebastian Haley. The article is titled: “Ocean Marketing: How to self-destruct your company with just a few measly emails [update]” There is an update link to the press release from Avenger and of course the Games Beat readers weighing in on the topic.