Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

Rite Of Passage: Bad Yelp Review

Posted on | March 8, 2010 | 8 Comments

About a month ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Looking At Diamonds…And Myself” after an interesting customer experience. That experience, along with my reaction to this guy, landed me a negative Yelp review – click here to check it out.

I even ran across Inc Magazine’s article “You’ve Been Yelped” shortly after, which describes business owner’s struggles with this site in particular.

Everyone’s a critic. The cliché has long been a useful way to brush off a caustic remark or a biting comment. But now it’s true — and it’s driving entrepreneurs crazy.

Is it driving us crazy? No. Is it making us think before we react to a customer? Yes.

Now, Yelp does have some other issues, like kicking bad reviews to the bottom of certain user’s pages if they are advertisers. But that’s another issue.

The issue here is how do we, as business owners, treat customers and, better yet, deal with the fallout from negative (and very public) customer feedback? Back in the old days, my grandfather would not hesitate to show a customer the door if they were having a hard time “seeing eye to eye.” But the internet has empowered customers. If you don’t like the service, trash the waiter. If the food is subpar, throw the chef under the bus. And tell all your Facebook friends how that one brand of detergent makes your shirts smell like formaldehyde. So, times change and we always adapt to change around here. But how far do I have to go in dealing with an obnoxious, difficult or even offensive customer? Is the customer always right? Or do I take the chance that sometimes they’re just wrong and let the chips fall where they may? Food for thought I hope. Just please don’t give this “chef” a bad review 😉