Listening Saves Lives

Today’s guest post is by Peppercommer Catharine Cody.

i_heard_youIn today’s digital age where our actions are dissected 24/7 and no deed goes unnoticed, it’s disheartening when brands fail to recognize their customer’s feelings and experiences- especially when they’re negative.

This weekend, I went to Dorney Park in Pennsylvania with my coworker, Nicole.  While waiting on line for a wooden rollercoaster, the Thunderhawk, we saw the staff attendants give the ‘thumbs up’ to allow the ride to proceed.  There was one problem though, one cart’s safety bars didn’t go down.
Completely unaware of the impending danger, we screamed at the attendants: “STOP! THE BAR HASN’T GONE DOWN! DON’T GO!”  The 15-year-old blonde flipped her long locks over her shoulder, glanced over at me and responded, “Yeah, we heard you…”

Finally, the safety bars clicked into place, and the ride proceeded.  Nicole and I looked at each other, shook our heads, and walked off the ride.

As PR professionals, we decided on a two-pronged approach to ensure this never happens again: tweet at the amusement park’s PR department, and go to guest services to inform them of their inept staff.

After tweeting (text at left) cat111we walked over to the guest services department.  The girl who manned that  booth, also around 15 years old, seemed shocked that this happened, and invited us to fill out a guest comment card to ensure management was alerted.

We tried to fill out the comment card online, but were kicked off the site many times before finally giving up.  Although we tweeted on the weekend, we didn’t receive a response from the account, and after a few more re-tweets and modified tweets, they’ve yet to address the problem.  And, in case you’re wondering, the Twitter account, @DorneyParkPR, is pretty active- they tweet a few times a day.

Were I in charge of the PR for Dorney Park, I would fire the ride attendants in question, do a thorough ride and attendant assessment of ALL rides at ALL locations to ensure this will never happen again and apologize profusely for the potential harm caused.

So, brands beware: Listen to what your customers have to say, because Nicole and I are back in the office now and unable to scream “help” on others’ behalf.

8 thoughts on “Listening Saves Lives

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  4. Thanks for the comment, Julie. I completely agree. And, what makes it more frustrating is that the Twitter account is very active!

  5. I don’t understand why these companies have social media accounts if they won’t address their customers’ problems.

  6. I’m not sure, but seriously I can’t believe it happened!!! I just tweeted at the PR firm again, to let them know that this blog was up. We shall see what happens….

  7. Wow – thank goodness you were able to help. Wasn’t it Southwest that had a passenger thrown off the plane for tweeting a negative comment. Surprised they didn’t page you and get you thrown out of the park.