• Online reputation management nightmares: Amy’s Baking Company Debacle

    A look at how one company responded to customers, and made their online reputation worse.

    Amy's Baking Company online reputation ruined and tips

    Image courtesy John Ah

    How important are reviews?  Negative ones can be a nightmare, especially for businesses that deal with customers, such as restaurants.

    Recently, during the taping of Gordon Ramsay’s May 10 episode of Kitchen Nightmares, things turned even worse. Amy’s Baking Company and the owner’s online response is one of the best text-book cases of what NOT to do.  Their complete meltdown propelled their online reputation to legendary proportions—negative, that is.

    To recap, the British chef Gordon Ramsay for his Fox show visits restaurants in need of a major overhaul, and usually provides harsh, tough but truthful advice.

    When he visited Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, things quickly got out of hand, and for the first time, Gordon ended the show’s taping because of the owner’s belligerent attacks.

    But things end there.  The owner’s response afterwards was oddly disturbing and created an all-out declaration of war.  Their continual tirades waged on Facebook, logged mostly against customers, as well as others, just made things worse.  (For the record, they said their Facebook account was hacked; another page was created and both were removed.  They plan an reop

    What TO Do: Be Humble, Professional

    This highlights one of the prime objectives of online reputation management: engage with the customer or client politely, professionally. The last thing you want to do is agitate them more, possibly resulting in more negative posts. 

    Also, acknowledge the issue, investigate it, and if true, correct the problem.  Most important, communicate this or your findings to the customer or offer a discount for their next purchase.




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