When I was younger, I had several customer service jobs where I was treated badly by angry patrons. I've been yelled at, cursed, threatened, and on one memorable occasion, I had a VHS tape thrown at me (I'm pretty sure every ex-video store employee has at least one horror story involving customers overreacting about their late fees). Never once did I have a boss step in on my behalf, because they always adhered to that old adage: "The customer is always right." Even when they're wrong. And kind of an asshole.
Maybe that's why I am so drawn to the story of how Ryan Clark, co-founder of Washington-based Liberty Bottleworks, responded on Facebook to an abusive customer. Not only did he defend the hell out of his employees, he politely -- but THOROUGHLY -- eviscerated this awful-sounding lady for the way she'd been behaving.
Clearly I'm not the only one who loved his response, because support for Liberty Bottleworks has been blowing up the Internet ever since his reply went public.
In a screenshot that's been widely shared online, a customer starts out by berating the business for screwing up her order and not responding to her calls. In a lengthy reply, co-founder Ryan Clark described how the customer had actually been threatening his employees, ignoring Liberty's attempts to get in touch with her, and as for her expectation that Liberty workers should be available during holiday weekends, he wrote,
I am sorry you are upset and I will gladly give you your money back, but I am not sorry our employees were enjoying the holidays. That right is not exclusive to you.
Are you wanting to give this guy a high-five yet? Wait until you see the rest of what he had to say. Here's the entire well-mannered, but no-nonsense rebuff from Clark:
That. Was. Incredible.
Clark's Facebook response to the unidentified angry customer was posted to Reddit by a onetime employee who says he just wanted people to know how great his former company is:
I thought it might strike a chord with people, like me, who (have) worked in customer service before, particularly during the holidays. Most employees aren’t backed up by their employers like that and it’s refreshing to be reminded that justice still exists in some places.
Not only has Liberty Bottleworks earned thousands of new Facebook likes, their website and phone lines were nearly crippled by orders from devoted new customers. In one of the many grateful posts the company has shared in the last few days, Liberty says they've never seen interest like what they're experiencing right now:
Wow people, thank you again for the support - we are so thankful.
I don't even NEED a water bottle, but I think I'm going to order one just to support this amazing business. Kudos to Ryan Clark and Liberty Bottleworks for showing the world some businesses still have the right priorities. As he put it in a recent interview,
You can’t give up your people for profit. You can’t give up your ethics, beliefs or your core principals simply for another bottle sale.
What do you think about this business's Facebook response?
Image via Liberty Bottleworks/Facebook