I got a reply from McDonalds about our complaint concerning service at Dannevirke McDonalds.
To be completely honest, I hadn’t expected one. I didn’t think that an international mega-corporation would be terribly interested in what one insignificant customer thought. I filled out their feedback form purely as an experiment to see if it would make a difference.
It turns out that the Dannevirke McDonalds senior management team are well aware that there are problems, and that they are working on it. They wanted to know if I could recall the names of the people we dealt with. I said that I wasn’t interested in persecuting individuals, and if they were in the process of improving things there, then that was good enough for me. We look forward to our next hamburgers at Dannevirke.
But it was very impressive to receive a phonecall. The thing that stands out the most for me is how companies and organisations are starting to take the Internet seriously as a communications channel. A while ago it was considered to be the Wild West, and there was no effort made to deal with peoples (often anonymous) opinions that they freely express on the web.
Metlink Wellington actively monitor Twitter. When a bus is late and people complain on Twitter, Metlink will respond to every single mention. For me, this is a staggering shift for a city council, who no longer hides behind a call centre, and will engage their users anywhere they happen to be.
I look forward to the day when this is considered to be standard practice. It’s obviously a less controlled environment than what many companies are used to, but if it’s left unchecked then it turns into an echo chamber of discontent. Simply replying to feedback lets people know that their opinions are heard and where possible, acted upon.
Go McDonalds! I’m lovin’ it!