By Lisa Kilker
Photo by Tim Gouw via Pexels
If you’ve ever worked retail, you can commiserate. You have a customer that you’ve gone out of your way for, bent over backwards, called in favors, but they are still not happy. When is enough enough? Can you really fire a customer? If so, how do you deal with the subsequent negative review?
Small business owners have a lot on their plate. Aside from employee and inventory management, they also have to be customer service wizards. They’ll pretty much help you in any way they can. In fact, that’s one of the many benefits of shopping small business. One-on-one customer service is a rare treat in the age of antisocial e-commerce. However, it goes without saying that some customers can never be pleased. You give them an inch, they want a mile. Having worked retail for years, I’ve personally encountered several situations with customers that were definitely not ideal. From the customer who returned the same set of blue sheets three times because, for some reason, she kept washing them with bleach, to the woman who demanded a refund on a pair of jeans after she started her period in them. It happens. Sometimes you just have those customers that make you want to pull your hair out. But, when is it time to throw in the towel and how do you do that?
As popular as ghosting has become when it comes to dating, it’s definitely not an acceptable way to deal with a troublesome customer. You need to be straightforward and honest and simply say to them “Listen, I’ve done my absolute best to give you everything you’ve asked for and, at this point, there’s not much else I can do. I’m terribly sorry.” Another option would be to go against all your small business beliefs and send them to a larger retailer. Then there’s the negative review waiting game.
Just like any other retailer, small business owners definitely fear the dreaded negative review. Reviews aren’t just important for small businesses, they are also important for consumers as well. A 2013 study claimed that 90% of consumers admitted that reviews influenced what and where they bought. Small businesses especially rely on reviews and can definitely be impacted when a customer leaves an unfavorable one. This is one of the many reasons why small business owners go to great lengths to please every customer.
With that being said, how do you deal with it when it happens? Simple… you respond! However, because responding to an online review is not the same thing as having a direct face-to-face conversation, it can potentially be a passive aggressive nightmare. This is something you absolutely want to avoid. Instead, always remember to be kind and diplomatic. Both are very important. Explaining the situation gently and maturely in your own words will ensure that any future customers who see the negative review won’t let it affect their feelings about shopping at your store. Adding a little humor can also go Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community