Importance of Customer Engagement

By: Amanda Loyd – Within the last few months, two bars in our stomping grounds of Indianapolis, Indiana, have made national news. Both bars, Kilroys and Black Acre Brewing, responded to incidents that happened with customers on their Facebook page. Both incidents furthered our belief that maintaining consistent communication with customers via social media is a must.

Whether positive or negative, gaining feedback from people who frequent your establishment, whether it’s a medical practice, bar or retail store, can help to further your companies mission and understand the needs of your customers. Establishing what type of business you are and what you stand for is another positive when it comes to growing your brand, especially as more and more consumers are

In the first incident, a customer took to Facebook to blast Kilroys Bar after she says she and her group were “ignored and forced to watch a junkie being wheeled out” during their New Years Eve celebration. She stated that the manager and wait staff were more concerned with this “junkie” than ensuring that her bill was correct.

A few hours later, the manager of Kilroys responded on their Facebook page, stating that the “junkie” that the original post was responding to was, in fact, a 70 year old woman who had had a heart attack. Paramedics were brought into the bar, and during the commotion, many customers may have not received the ideal standard of service, but Kilroys staff needed to first and foremost ensure that the heart attack victim was alright.

After the Kilroys incident went viral, the customer who complained ended up being let go from her job. The Kilroys manager ended up stating that he felt “bad” that the customer’s name had gotten out and how she had been effected, so he recommended changing the conversation. Kilroys started a Go Fund Me page for the heart attack sufferer, and over $14,000 was raised. Talk about a happy ending.

Just this week, Black Acre Brewing, another bar around Indianapolis, Indiana made national news because the bar owner wrote a post drawing a line in the sand regarding his tolerance for sexual harassment of his employees. After having to correct and eventually kick a particular patron out for making sexual remarks about his female waitstaff, Jordan Gleason decided enough is enough.

Jordan posted on Facebook, laying out his expectations for how his staff would be treated, no matter how they look, what they wear, or their sex. After multiple positive comments and shares, the post went viral. A few days later, Jordan got a call from USA Today. And just like that, one little Facebook post put Black Acre Brewing on the map.

So, what do these two incidents teach us? We’re not saying that you should look for reasons to post a negative response to customers on social media. What we are suggesting however, is that social media engagement is a key factor in keeping in mind what is relevant and important to your customers, and staying true to your brand.