Tonight, I got to be a part of one of the best social media interactions I’ve ever seen by a large company, Outback Steakhouse. Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t eat at Outback very often at all, mostly because the last two times I did, one in New Jersey, one in South Carolina, and one in Georgia, were all plagued with bad service and mediocre food. Yes, they could have been off nights, after all, lots of people, including my pal Nathan Okuley, love Outback. Hence my ribbing him at his tweet tonight asking folks what was the worst restaurant imaginable for a first date. Also, note the sarcastic wink at the end of my answer, again, a ribbing of Nathan, and not a real knock of Outback.
What happened via this social media transaction blew me away. The way these tweets were handled not only quickly, but with great finesse, whit and humor, is a lesson all businesses who have a social media program, or agencies who handle social media, could learn from. I’ll be honest, it made me a fan of their company, especially when I learned that the gentleman handling the tweets, actually worked at the company out of Tampa. In this day and age, where companies like Charter are shuttering their social media accounts, many don’t handle their social media, like KitchenAid, and others, do it poorly, like Atlanta’s own Boner’s BBQ, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a company use social media with such skill and finesse. In the end, they earned the respect of me, and the folks who watched it happen on Twitter. Kudos, Outback, well done.
P.S. I was offered a meal certificate for me to come back in and give them another try. The customer service provided by them via this account and transaction were great.
P.S.S. The meal certificate offered had NOTHING to do with this blogpost, I was/am genuinely blown away by how well this went down. You will, too.