In the wake of the rising criticism against Starbucks India for having deleted a negative feedback post on Facebook, our team has finally managed to get the Starbucks side of the story. Here is the verbatim response:
“We value our customers and their feedback and as a policy do not delete feedback or criticism on our social channels. As a process we reach out to a dissatisfied customer and have a robust customer recovery system.
In the case of Armaan Kapur we addressed his complaint by reaching out to him on a one on one basis through an email & a call last week. We regretted the inconvenience caused and invited him to the store to enjoy our hospitality. He visited our store with his friends.
Starbucks is commitment to delivering the highest quality coffeehouse experience to each of our customers and serving them the authentic Starbucks Experience. Our customers in India have extended a very warm welcome to us and we are humbled by the opportunity to serve you.”
When asked on why did you delete the grievance post from Armaan Kapur when it is against your policy, the shocking response was, “As stated above, We value our customers and their feedback and as a policy do not delete feedback or criticism on our social channels. In the case of Armaan Kapoor we did not delete his post.”
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So, where exactly has the post vanished into? Starbucks has not responded to that. I guess it is part of their authentic Starbucks Experience!
Social media arrogance?
Business is about building positive and lasting relationships. However, Starbucks India believes otherwise. I checked out the Facebook pages of Starbucks in other countries and to my delight, found heaps of negative comments left for all to see. Deleting a negative post is an absolute blunder in a country where it has expansion plans. In what could have been positively leveraged, the brand failed in its ‘wait and watch’ response time.
Instead of taking action at the earliest and issuing an honest apology to Armaan, they waited till the episode went viral – first while issuing an apology and second while issuing a response to us. The apology to Armaan came 4 days later to him having shared the screenshot on social media, making it doubly viral. But, no explanation on the deletion was offered. The response statement to our team took 2 full days after we published the story and it spread globally, to only be told that they haven’t deleted the post!
In all this, there has been no official statement on the Starbucks India Facebook page; only the cover page has been changed with another coffee picture.
Social media gurus might just want to jump out of their nearest window, there is no way that brands like Starbucks India can get social. It is about time for Starbucks India to wake up and smell their coffee!
Image courtesy: catnipoflife.wordpress.com