Every brand stumbles on occasion: an employee makes an inappropriate comment, service falls short of expectations, or a fly lands in the soup. These things happen.
In today’s connected world, a small stumble can quickly become a big problem. People often share unpleasant incidents on social media, and if the story resonates, it can create lasting and significant damage.
This means that brands have to move quickly to deal with problems. If you wait a week or so—mulling over the proper response and getting people to sign-off on a carefully worded press release—the opportunity to defuse the incident is gone. Instead of trying to make just one customer happy, you now have to deal with thousands of irate individuals.
This week, the Houlihan’s restaurant chain dealt effectively with a potentially damaging incident, providing a perfect example of how smart brands react in today’s fast-moving world.
You can read the full post on Forbes. Just click here.
I would ask a question. Why do you so wholeheartedly defend Houlihan’s in this? Fake service dogs are a real issue and they endanger those with legitimate animals (just check Google by searching “fake service dogs hurt”). The reality is that they are a problem and the manager asked one of 2 questions allowed by the ADA. Had it been answered instead of argued, there is absolutely zero indication that the dog owner would have been denied service. The manager was protecting the interest of service dog owners as well as his own company… And yet lost his job in the midst of a media frenzy in which nobody even acknowledged his right to ask the question nor the reasons for doing so. A number of service dog owners have defended the Mgr in public forums…and yet the news outlets only focus on the outrage of the initial story. Apparently an errant vet who doesn’t know the laws regarding his own animal does not make for a good news topic. In my opinion… Houlihan’s not only showed a lack of knowledge with regard to the ADA… They showed a clear lack of concern for their employees by making a knee jerk reaction without the knowledge to support it. The situation may have been better served with sincere apologies for the vets misunderstanding of the situation and a statement regarding the issues surrounding fake service dogs and manager’s desire to protect both true handlers, other patrons, and his company. As a side benefit of such a response… a man would not have been unjustly denied his livelihood.
Petco apparently has the same philosophy – – quick decisive action after a very unfortunate screwup.