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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Ethics in Business – when is false advertising not false advertising – paying to avoid excess legal costs

I’ve titled this post ethics in business, but it’s really not all about that, It’s probably more of a rave. I just wanted to get my take on the FTC claims and Ethics in business - should you get a refund if you didn't wear them?payments to be made by Skechers in regards to the Skechers Shape Ups and am really unsure of what I should call this post to get the best readership!


Point 1 – Ethics in Business – selling a retailers perspective

I am a retailer in New Zealand and I have and do sell Skechers Shape Ups. When discussing the shoes in store I always made a point of saying that the shoes are not a magic bullet and that it does  diet as well. I did this is I felt that the hype was probably overrated  & the small print on the in store banners we had were often overlooked.  This was an ethical stance that I took and am very comfortable with my decision. My conscience is clear. I would even go to the point of saying that by purchasing the shoes off me they shouldn’t be entitled to a refund, as I gave them a slightly more balanced view prior to purchase. That’s pretty subjective I know but that’s the way I feel. Now is this the way I should act as a small business owner? will it mean that my customers will trust me more in the future?


Point 2 – Skechers will be paying out to avoid a long protracted legal battle.

Skechers have issued a press release stating just this. They stand by their claims and advertising and have made a decision to pay out now. This is probably the best thing to do. By taking this stance the companies executives are no doubt basing this decision on what is best for the company’s shareholders. The trouble is  this payout looks like an admission of guilt to many/most people. Most cannot understand the buisness decision as opposed to admitting guilt and liability. They just don’t get it, and lets not forget, Skechers have not been fined or penalised.


Point 3 – Refunds – even if the shoes have not been worn the way intented?

Now I can see a rush on to get refunds. I have been contacted by 2 customers about how can they get a claim in already & I have no idea! My concern is what about those who never actually used the shoes as they should have, but instead had them sitting in the wardrobe collecting dust. Did they ever walk the miles they should of to see any benefit? And what about diet? Did they make any changes? I have a pair and  have worn them, but not enough to do any good! I’m one of those people who have all good intentions but did not follow through with action. I did/do feel good wearing them, especially for my posture, should I be entitled to a refund?


Point 4 – What about the other manufactuers who make outragous claims?

This morning I watched a infomercial on the Ab Pro Wave, boy this that a fabulous machine, I can sit  down & move side to side & I’m going to slim down. Wow the before and after photos look great! Maybe I’ll get one and then wait to see if there are complaints… maybe I can then get a refund.

This is a little cynical I know… hopefully the payment by Skechers ( and don’t forget the same thing happened to Reebok last year).. maybe what is required is more truth in advertising… now where would the fun be in that!!!


Does the Skechers issue mean anything to you as a small business owner?

Does the advertising claims made by the manufacturers of products you sell effect your ethics in business

Let me know your views… leave a comment on my rave.. do you agree, disagree or don’t care?


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