Social media experts have seen brands of all sizes rise and fall when it comes to dealing with crazy customers, employee drama and company politics on sites like Facebook and Twitter. In our era of instant information, every triumph or mistake can be spread and posted in a moment’s notice. Last weekend, an altercation at a Florida Dunkin’ Donuts confirmed just how powerful social media and viral video really are.
Two teenagers behind the counter at Dunkin Donuts had no idea that the racist rant of 27-year-old Taylor Chapman would turn them into heroes. Chapman unleashed an 8-minute explosion on the teens after claiming she didn’t receive her receipt from the night before. Chapman filmed her abusive tongue lashing and promised to post it to Facebook. The employees stayed cool and gave Chapman her free food as dictated by company policy when a guest doesn’t receive a receipt. What Chapman didn’t anticipate was how social media would be on the side of the beleaguered and berated employees. Facebook and Twitter were soon populated with messages of support for the teens for coolly handling the situation. The Dunkin’ Donuts Facebook page was soon filled with messages from followers who just wanted to commend the employees and the brand.
Even Dunkin’ Donuts bigwigs stood by their employees.
“We are aware of the video and the situation that occurred at the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant located in Fort Lauderdale,” Jessica Gioglio, a spokesperson for the company, said. “We commend the franchisee’s crew members for handling this difficult situation with grace and patience. We believe this is a powerful example of great customer service and the respect our crew members have for our guests.”
The lessons here are good ones to remember. First off, video is forever, so it’s important for brands and businesses to always be on their best behavior. Secondly, branded Facebook pages are powerful places for customers to show their support and disdain. Lastly, treating people with respect — whether they deserve it or not — is something that never goes out of style.