How to Handle Customer Complaints and Reviews – Don’t take it personally

One of the hardest things for me as a small business owner, who works daily in the business, is to know how to handle

how to handal customer complaints and reviews

What would you think seeing this sign

customer complaints and reviews. What I am talking about here is not how to put it right if a product has not lived up to expectations, but how to not  take it personally.  As Donald Trump say’s…’ it’s just business’. So I was heartened to read an article on a restaurant that had received a bad review on  Yelp and then set about take advantage of the bad press. It’s possible that the owner first had a melt down, but then turned the tables and with some courage somewhat embraced the review.

How to Handle Customer Complaints and Reviews – Don’t take it personally

The restaurant owner placed a placard outside his/her business which stated ” COME IN AND TRY THE WORST MEATBALL SANDWICH  THAT ONE GUY ON YELP EVER HAD IN HIS LIFE”. How this came about is self explanatory.

And by taking this approach Ken of Inkling Media gives some thoughts on what the unnamed business owner achieved by his stance.

3. It takes a risk – Most of what we do as small businesses would be categorized as “safe”. Even our risks are calculated risks. We do what is easy. But what if…what if that meatball sandwich really isn’t all that good? This restaurant is walking around with a bulls-eye, taking the risk that others might feel the same way as the one guy on Yelp.

4. It builds community – If I’m a regular customer of this restaurant, and I like their food, I’m going to rally around them. I might just eat there more often as a public declaration that I’m not going to let anyone tell me what to think or like. In times of adversity and negativity, you find out who your friends are, and in this case, your loyal customers might just step up on your behalf.

5. It draws new customers in – If I’ve never eaten at your restaurant, this sign might be just enough to intrigue me. I might just walk through your doors, and if so, I’ll likely order the meatball sandwich. One, because I love a good meatball sandwich, and two, because I’m processing through the first few points of this in my head and I know you think that sandwich is pretty good. If it is, you’ve won me over.

6. It promotes positive online reviews – Taking all of these points into consideration, by mentioning that one bad review on Yelp, the businesses is inviting all of us to check out their Yelp account. We’ll go there looking for the bad review. We’ll want to see what this one guy had to say, and probably chuckle under our breath. And since we are there, we are very likely to leave our own review, and we will probably not only be positive, we might just extoll the virtues of the meatball sandwich.

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Do you think that you would have the courage to put it all out there? Or would you, like me, be too annoyed and hurt to turn it around. This unknown business owner has certainly opened my eyes to see what can be achieved with a little lateral thinking. How to Handle Customer Complaints and Reviews? Don’t take it personally and remember, it’s just business.

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  1. I love this spin on a bad customer review. Great reminder to think outside the box!

  2. Stacey says:

    I wrote a promo piece once that said “When you hear the term ‘classics’ if you think of Beethoven and Vivaldi instead of the Beatles and Van Halen we’re the wrong music school for you.” My staff went nuts, saying we’d offend people. Who are we going to offend? Not OUR target market; we’re the School of ROCK! Thanks for posting this. It helps me know I’m not crazy!

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