I have written several articles on how social media can’t kill a business like United Airlines. There have been other instances where social media had no impact on stock prices of big companies. That is not necessarily the case of a small business. Especially a small business in a small community.
This weekend, there was an incident at a spa in Kalamazoo called M Spa where a young mother with her 2.5 year old son went to get his haircut. Like all 2.5 year olds, he was not all that happy about it. Needless to say, he was being fussy about his haircut. According to an eyewitness Vanessa Hunt, the owner approached the mother and pretty much gave her the hair dryer treatment in front of all her customers. The customer was brought to tears. To top it off, the young boy is autistic.
If you know anyone who has had to raise an autistic child, it is one of the most difficult things you would ever have to face. They are so unpredictable. Depending on the severity of their condition, patience required is an understatement.
According to M Live, the incident has gone viral off the Facebook post. “ By Sunday night, and the post had been shared more than 17,000 times by Monday afternoon. Outraged readers also filled out negative reviews of the business on sites like Yelp.com and Yahoo.com.”
M Spa needs some positive PR or this could severely hurt the business. What should she do?
I do not think her behavior is defensible. She had other choices in dealing with the situation. Her reaction needs to address her transgressions head on and rectify the situation. If she does not, this could tank her business.
As a friend of mine always says, “you never know who is watching.” In today’s social media world with video smart phones and instant access to the internet, it is even more true.
M Spa needs to get ahead of this.