How to Deal with Negative Customer Feedback

When asked about negative online comments I say, “Any company that has been in business longer than 5 minutes has an unhappy customer. You simply can’t please everyone all the time.” How you deal with it is more telling than the fact that the negativity exists. The lack of control over what people say about businesses makes many owners uncomfortable.

I’ll let you in on a secret

The internet didn’t take away your control. You never had control. Control is only an illusion. The only thing you actually control in any situation is how you react.

According to the Opinion Research Corporation, 84% of Americans say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions so this is an important area of which to pay attention. I was doing a platform audit for one of my clients, Getaway Adventures, when I came across a negative review on TripAdvisor. The customer was displeased with the tour he went on and felt it wasn’t what he expected during purchase. The owner, Randy, dealt with it in a really effective way. He apologized and told the customer that the next tour was on him and that he’d take the customer out himself. Done. A negative turned into a positive, at least from my perspective. You can learn a lot about a person/business by the way they treat people. He handled it just the way he would’ve if the client had been standing in his place of business. The way we cope with online feedback should be very much like the way we’d handle it face to face. Same skills different application. Continue reading

The Lady Test: Privacy, Decorum and Online Behavior

I passed a lady test today.

You’ve heard the saying, “A lady never _____.” No one ever said this to me directly but I did take note of class all by myself. I don’t live in a world where gloves, pearls, and finger sandwiches exist but the pearls are still the sign of a classy lady.

There is an image of this lady in my head. Sometimes she looks like Audrey Hepburn, quiet and graceful with doe eyes. Other times she is Claire Huxtable from the Cosby Show. A smart, clever, funny, beautiful woman that does not suffer fools.

When I am approached about my thoughts on privacy issues and the internet, the ghost of the lady is in my head. When Google Buzz unintentionally released users’ address books to all that they contained, the ensuing uproar over loss of privacy and security was expected. I heard somewhere that it’s really about control. We were under the illusion that we had control over our information. When we lose that control, we get upset. But the question I want to ask is, did we ever really have control to begin with?

Continue reading

Page 1 of 1