Today we were informed of what appears to be a troubling incident within a student led organization on the campus of North Dakota State University. This would be the Public Relations Student Society at NDSU. One of the members and a student at NDSU Amy Hilgers left negative feedback for a customer. Nothing by itself seems out of the ordinary, unhappy customers leaving honest and truthful feedback, right? This is what helps businesses to better their goods and/or services. Businesses need to embrace the positive feedback and learn from the negative. We don’t normally look into these types of matters since there can be so much ‘gray’ area if you will.
However the problem here was the negative feedback was left for poor responsiveness to the customer Amy Hilgers. Upon some investigation it was discovered that over 24 emails had been sent to the customer. Average response time was 7.5 hrs. Not exactly blazing fast but certainly within reason, less than a business day. We were confused as to exactly how that correlated to poor responsiveness. On top of that we found emails sent to the customer which were simply ignored despite the business working to meet her own self-imposed deadline. Still up to this point however it seemed liked either a simple misunderstanding or a really strict interpretation of responsiveness. Then it all came together with the followup to the negative review. According to Hilgers, and we quote, “you should be using NDSU Public Relations Society to help with your customer service”. So was that the answer? Maybe this wasn’t just a customer who felt neglected. Was this possibly an attempt to get business or to artificially create a need for the services of this organization? It really appears, at least to us, that the leaving of negative feedback was in reality a ploy to promote this student organization and its members, or at the very least one of its members.
We can only hope that this is an isolated incident of an overzealous student and not really indicative of the organization as a whole and we certainly hope that this is not a common trend within the Public Relations Student Society of America.
We would love to hear about your experiences either good or bad with the Public Relations Student Society of America at NDSU specifically or the national organization in general. We have reached out with no response as of this writing.
AFI News Services