Hi Seller Community 🌎
How do you handle bad reviews or disgruntled customers?
Let's be honest, it can't always be sunshine and roses! ☀️ 🌹
We look forward to reading your replies 🤓
Seller Community & Super Seller Program Manager | Square, Inc.
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I like to make sure the customer has been heard clearly first by reiterating information given to me by that person. From there I come up with policy based solutions that align with the customers needs and I go from there. I refrain from using trigger words and saying "you" when speaking. Using the word you when talking to a disgruntled customer can look like finger pointing. That escalates the situation.
Always apologize (First) for less that great service and any inconvenience that has been caused. In that time you must also thank that person for being a customer and choosing your business for their needs or want.
Sometimes, letting a customer know how valuable they are changes the dynamics of the conversation.
as long as you do your best and apologize , offer a free service;
if they continue with pessimism
you can refer those clients to your website in which they will have to pay more for your time in accommodations with their schedule
i recommend the prepayment method for the buisness owner
if they continue to be pessimistic then i will refuse service and make them find another business to take their bad day on cause
is our right to refuse service to uncompliable people
realistically you dont want customers like that , that will bring a bad vibe
some money is not worth the stress it comes with; health is most important
Especially dealing with the quantity or volume of people.
inevitably earning the respect of the public
@isabelle Well a bad review can be a eye opener and a learning experience I truly believe. If it truly is a bad review or just a customer that has a past history of complaining than it should really be taken as what it is, just a person who has to much time to kill. So I would be gladly rid of that person because no matter what you do they will not be happy. If it is an area that needs attention than improve that area and don’t fall back on old habits or ways of doing whatever it was. There are also business owners/businesses that should not be in business anyways. If it was a true experience for that person and many others they will be closed for business permanently.
We opened in a building that previously had a coffee shop in it, so the first few months we had people who were upset the previous shop closed and it was changing up their routine.
For us we are beyond lucky to have the most amazing customers and rarely have someone who is unhappy. The few times it has happened it was more a miscommunication as to what they were ordering and we immediately fix it and make it right.
The other funny thing for us is when we have rude customers they are so taken aback at how kind our team is that by the time they leave they are smiling and telling US to have a great day!
Hey @isabelle another great question!
My store has been the recipient of a few bad reviews over the years, some warranted, some completely off base. With every one of them, I always start by thanking them for the review, usually saying something like “I value all reviews, both good and bad. This is the best way for me to see what is and isn’t working and to fix the bad things.”
I then apologize for the troubles and try to explain whatever I’ve found out about their experience that was wrong and what we are doing to remedy the problem. Especially if it’s a legit screw up from us I always ask them to follow up via email so I can refund their order. In my eyes, I’d rather lose the money from a bad visit and potentially gain a regular customer then take someone’s money who wasn’t thrilled.
For the reviews that are completely off base, I just try to pour on the charm and subtly dig at them throughout. If they crossed a line, I just let them have it—I told off one reviewer on Yelp because of their one star review after they made two of my baristas cry. Don’t mess with my team. Ever. 😡
I am the same way you are. If a customer has an issue because of something we have done than yes I want to correct. However all too often we have people that think business's "owe" them and they can treat my employees BAD. I myself as an owner have been screamed at and cussed at for stuff out of my control. I simply ask the customer to calm down and if they don't I ask them to leave and tell them they are no longer welcome. We do have 1 customer who only comes in once a month to buy one bag of dog food but treats my husband and one other employee with vulgar attitude with no regards to me, let alone any other women or customers in the store. We caught him on video last time but was too late by the time we were informed, to make sure he never comes back.
I firmly believe not every customer is always right.
@jtmcabee2021Agreed. I think the misconception of "The customer is always right" NEEDS to go away. I prefer the line "The customer we want back is always right." Huge difference.
Soooo, yeah. My team and I absolutely dropped the ball on a table this weekend, and got the one star Yelp review and the "Does not Recommend" FB review because of it. Yeah, this doesn't put me or my biz in a good light, but here's how I fix it when we do goof up:
First, the reviews:
Nine times out of ten, the customer doesn't reach back out to me. This time, luckily, she did:
As of the time of this post, she hasn't updated her reviews, which I was kind of hoping she would, but maybe she will after her next visit.
Either way, as has been said many times here, own your mistakes, apologize when warranted, and just try to soothe the situation. Oh, and make darn sure you're answering the positive reviews too! From one of my social media "rules": If all you do is respond to complaints, that's all people will send you.
“Oh, and make darn sure you're answering the positive reviews too! From one of my social media "rules": If all you do is respond to complaints, that's all people will send you.”
So true. I hope that we have always at least liked/upvoted positive reviews, so that the OP knows we read it and appreciate it.
Oh man, sounds like it was a tough weekend. I really appreciate you sharing the screenshots -- always so helpful to see how other people handle these things. It's interesting to me how understanding and human people are once you can talk with them one-on-one. I wish they would start from that place, instead of from the "hangry" place, but, that unfortunately isn't always the case. Thank you again for sharing this -- I agree with @Pesso, it was a "masterclass in how to handle customers."
Co-Founder & President
Savage Goods | @savagegoods | savagegoods.com
I try not to take it personally and genuinely listen and take a step back and see if it truly is something that I need to change. Complaints are opportunities to get better and build a relationship with a customer. Sure, you are gonna have those people who you are better off without as customers, but that doesn't mean you did everything RIGHT!
So the truly angry irate customer, I listen, I tend to lower my voice, talk more softly if they are yelling (humans tend to mirror behavior), I also ask their name and tell them my name. When you personalize the interaction it really will deescalate the interaction. "Hey, I am Donnie, what was your name? Olive? Ok, Olive, I am sorry for asking you to repeat yourself, but please tell me what is wrong?"
I always remember anger is a secondary emotion, something else triggers anger, so I focus on the trigger not the anger.
When all else fails, I turn my crew loose on the customer and they usually run in fear. 🙂
Order Up Cafe/Tombras Cafe/Riverview Cafe/City County Cafe
Roddy Vending Company, Inc.
Using Square since July, 2017
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"Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment."
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I am a break-fix computer shop. Mostly dealing with customers who aren't super computer literate, so I don't actually get a lot of reviews, despite taking steps to make it easy for my customers.
However, I have 55 reviews on Google, and 34 reviews on Thumbtack. Out of those 89 reviews, I have 5 x 4 stars, and 1 x 1 star. The 1 star was because at the time I was operating from my home and someone simply drove up, saw it was a house, and drove away. Never said a word, didn't even leave a worded review, just 1 star that's it. I explained the situation in the review response (I love that Google allows businesses to do this). In my 5 x 4-star reviews, I apologized for the less than 5-star service. You can't just go off on customers. The two 4-star reviews were one for taking longer than expected, and the other was just because I don't think she gives 5 stars out easily. I wouldn't even call a 4-star review bad. I just like it when it's 5 stars.
I guess reading over my reviews, I don't have any BAD reviews. If I did, I would apologize for the poor service (I'm very big on providing a complete and satisfying service) and I would also defend myself if there was any sort of unforeseen circumstances that caused the bad reviews, this way anyone who is reading will know what happened. If it was a service that did not require parts, I would ask that they give me another chance to make it right.
I've only had two transactions go sour in my time in business. One time descended into a name-calling match (one can only take so much) for something the manufacturer messed up. The second time a tenant of the building I was occupying had stolen a customer's part from the mail and the customer got **bleep**ed at me, despite the fact that I fixed the situation immediately and rushed a new part out.
If the person who is unhappy with my service, approaches me in a respectable manner, I will 1000% do what I have to do to fix it. However, if they want to hit the ground running with expletives and insults, then expect the same in return. One of the main reasons I started my own business was to not have to take orders and to not have to eat sh!t from customers.
Perrone Technologies: The Computer Shop
oh boy. I've had unhappy customers. usually its killing them with kindness. there are, however, cases where they're so wrong and I don't mind losing them. I just had a customer who vented that I repeatedly did her wrong, and I was never going to see her again. I told her I was so sorry to keep disappointing her. Guess who came in yesterday?
We try to listen and be as diplomatic as possible in our responses. I hate review sites because I'd always rather have real interaction and whether the result is resolution, agree to disagree, or minds were changed I feel both sides are heard. In online reviews often miscommunication or idiotic situation (we got a 2 star once because someone went to the side door of the building to pick up pottery - where there isn't even a parking lot - they had to walk 30 yards through grass and flowers to get there - and then complained that the door was locked and left - keeping in mind they had entered through the correct door when they had their event). Obviously no communication was had responding to a review.............and they didn't take it down.......so (?).
I also think review sites create missed opportunities for fixes and positive interactions and better understanding between people. Another time someone pointed out that it was offensive to be asked if they were a member - because it came off as racist and exclusionary - to us at the time it was important because our studio is only for paying members.....but now we re-phrased our greeting to be just a general hi, how can I help? instead which feels better but unfortunately didn't find out that offended the person until after she'd quit the studio. I would have much rather had a real face to face interaction with her.
There is a business down the street from us that reacts in a wildly inappropriate way to reviews and they are funny and cathartic to read but I wouldn't do that in my business.
But like @ryanwanner said above - don't come for my team. We had a truck driver come, hit on one of my staff, as another if she was pregnant (she's all of a size 4 but was wearing a crop top), and then refuse to deliver because there weren't any men on duty to help when we all regularly move pallets of clay - it is part of pottery. He left crying to my wife that I'd yelled at him.
Another time someone 1 star reviewed who technically was a customer of the business next door because he parked on my grass along with a dozen other customers of the neighboring CrossFit and I yelled at him after cops arrived because folks were also illegally parking in the roadway for a weight lifting competition to shut the 'f' up, listen to the cop (she was a woman), and to move his "profanity bomb" car and walk from further away if he was interested in fitness. (The south really doesn't like profanity - but tell that to my Pittsburgh roots)
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If it's a legitimate complaint, I try to rectify it. Most of the times it's just a misunderstanding. If it's just a customer being a butthole, I let them know just that. Thank God I haven't had this happen since opening my own store, but when I worked in big box retail there were always customers wanting to get over on us because they knew those companies would give them whatever because they wanted their continued business. I appreciate all my customers and they know if there is ever a problem, they can let me know and I'll make it right. They also know not to come into my store acting a fool because it's not tolerated. I'd rather you not shop with me if you can't respect the space.
1. Try not to take it personal. A lot of people are just projecting their bad day, week, life, etc...Oftentimes a slight trigger like a wrong order, missing onions on a burger, a wrong tone from cashier can set their trigger off. It's not your responsibility to be their therapist, but if you understand that most of the time it's not really about you and the thing that set them off, then it'll allow you and your staff to try to be more empathetic to the customer and what they're going through. We teach our staff to always ask themselves, what's more important at this moment, our ego, the need for us to be right, or the customer just feeling like they're being heard? Most of the time it's the latter so in that moment our staff try to listen, acknowledge & validate, and try to remedy the problem with a pleasant experience. (it doesn't always work)
2. Bad reviews;
- I try to look at it this way...9% of your customers love you and your service; 1% ARE RAVING MAD IN LOVE WITH YOUR BUSINESS, 9% of customers probably wouldn't come back because they didn't care for it, 1% ABSOLUTELY DISLIKE YOUR BUSINESS and the majority of your customers (around 80%) probably enjoy your business and would come back as a happy customer. Now the problem with reviews is they incentivize the <1% of people who absolutely don't like your business to feel validation through a bad review. They want the world to know how they feel or what happened, and the fastest way to feel validation is to put you down, regardless if it was warranted or not. What I always try to remind myself is that if I see 1 really bad review there's probably 90 customers who feel the opposite and it helps me put things into perspective.
- Focus on the feedback. In the review or bad experience try to get past your emotions and see what they're trying to tell you. What was the experience that caused the reaction? Perhaps there are truths that could be circumvented to help minimize future issues. I tend to give myself 1 -2 days to revisit a bad review to see if there's anything we can learn from it once my emotions have subsided.
- I usually offer up a thank you, let them know you hear their feedback and if you will try to fix it let them know it's because of them and invite them back for free drink, dessert, etc...usually i've had people delete their review or change it. 8/10 times people just want to be heard.
I think the first knee-jerk reaction is to be angry or feel attacked, so I wait a day to think about their complaint before responding or acting. I think that also gives the customer some time to cool off and consider what has happened.
I vent to my partner and friends about it, then let someone else write back or just ignore it since most of our negatives come from people reviewing the wrong store. Still not sure how to handle that.
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