Dealing with Bad Review / Unhappy Customer

#1
What do you do in a situation where no matter how you try to resolve it the customer is just unhappy and leaves you a pretty negative review online. Aside from disputing the review people can say what they want online and if they're ticked off may exaggerate the truth and make you look bad. How do you recover from something like this? Aside from learning what you could've done differently if it is indeed a mistake on the part of you and your company, how do you recover from having a bad review public where everyone can see? Especially if you have say 10-15 high reviews and then one really bad review?

Has anyone been in this situation before?
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
#2
I have not been in this situation before, as I don't run my own business. What I can tell you about is how I would react to such a circumstance as a potential customer reading a set of reviews. If 95% of the reviews for a particular company's product or services were positive, and only a few were negative, I would tend to believe the majority of the reviews, but I would want to know about the specific complaints of the unhappy people. On Amazon, sometimes people buy products that make most people happy, but then there is a bad run of product or a particular configuration that is below par. The writers of those reviews are able to point out the specific type of package to avoid, for instance.

So, if you were able to respond in a very polite manner to the public at large about your efforts to satisfy this customer and tell what steps you took to try to make them happy, I think it would go a long way towards softening peoples perception of the one bad review. You might even try to engage that unhappy customer one more time, to try to find out if there is anything in the world that will make them happy. If they are just irrational, and tell you there is nothing you can do to change things, the rest of the people reading the reviews will see this.

In the end, my bet is that one bad review will not harm you very much, if at all, especially if people see that you are going the extra mile to try to please your customers. Don't sweat it. In my humble opinion.

Tim
 
#3
So how much time are you going to spend worrying about this one bad customer? You already did recover with the other 10-15 good reviews.

If you really want the "iron clad" best online response, give them their money back. Then post a rebuttal, short and sweet. Say you regret that you couldn't resolve the issue to the customer's satisfaction, but you love your customers. Then state you issued a full refund. It takes all the wind out of their sail, but it is expensive. If you fight or air dirty laundry online first, the refund looks like an admission of guilt. If you do it up front it looks like a company that cares so much they had to make it right.

Resist the temptation to defend or point out the customer's bad actions or lies. It is nearly impossible to do in words without looking bad in some way. I would only do this if the customer's words are extremely defamatory and you have physical proof that could be posted. I'd avoid it even then.

If you aren't willing to give a refund, then you could try the "contact customer service at ..." so we can resolve your issue response. That at least shows you are willing to keep trying to resolve the issue to other viewers, even if you are not. Although, that method can generate another tirade, so it may have consequences.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#5
I wouldn’t sweat it.. after being in business for three years I got my first and only google review. It was very negative, and that was just for a bid! I got red flags with the guy, and didn’t want the job. I told him that I wasn’t the one for the job, and gave him some names of folks who could take it on. All of 5 minuets in and out. A week or two later I noticed the review.. really pissed me off.
Hasn’t affected me one bit though. I simply wrote a reply, sharing that I never actually did anything for him.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
#8
I wouldn’t sweat it.. after being in business for three years I got my first and only google review. It was very negative, and that was just for a bid! I got red flags with the guy, and didn’t want the job. I told him that I wasn’t the one for the job, and gave him some names of folks who could take it on. All of 5 minuets in and out. A week or two later I noticed the review.. really pissed me off.
Hasn’t affected me one bit though. I simply wrote a reply, sharing that I never actually did anything for him.
Evo, interesting post. At the risk of a mild derail, would you mind saying what the red flag items were that caused you to so quickly and accurately decide that this person was someone that you did not wish to do work for? It might be instructive for some folks who are relatively new to the game, and considering the possibility of seeking tree work for compensation. Thanks in advance for any answers you choose to provide.

Tim
 

Treezybreez

Well-Known Member
#9
I wouldn’t sweat it.. after being in business for three years I got my first and only google review. It was very negative, and that was just for a bid! I got red flags with the guy, and didn’t want the job. I told him that I wasn’t the one for the job, and gave him some names of folks who could take it on. All of 5 minuets in and out. A week or two later I noticed the review.. really pissed me off.
Hasn’t affected me one bit though. I simply wrote a reply, sharing that I never actually did anything for him.
So you basically got a confirmation that the little guy in your head waiving the red flag was spot on. Probably saved you a big head ache.
 
#10
We had a negative review (our only review on google) saying some very untrue and negative comments. He claimed our guys just sat in the truck and smoked pot (completely untrue as I was on site). I contacted google who wouldn’t take the review down!
I did not post a response as it may not come across as genuine, and he was not worth my time.
So far, it hasn’t affected business, although we do have a large amount of regular clients.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#11
We had a negative review (our only review on google) saying some very untrue and negative comments. He claimed our guys just sat in the truck and smoked pot (completely untrue as I was on site). I contacted google who wouldn’t take the review down!
I did not post a response as it may not come across as genuine, and he was not worth my time.
So far, it hasn’t affected business, although we do have a large amount of regular clients.
Have you looked to see what this persons other reviews have been?
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#13
So you basically got a confirmation that the little guy in your head waiving the red flag was spot on. Probably saved you a big head ache.
Yes (for once). However it wasn’t without some repercussions unfortunately.

So dude called me the day I went to get my toe sewn up, back when I shattered the tip of it. It took me two days to call him back. He kept asking me “which one are you.” So I let him know repeatedly. He said I was the only one who called back, and he had been calling for weeks (if he did he didn’t leave a message). I apologized and told him about my ER trip. He then started to lay in crewing me out about how I do business. I politely reminded him that I was the only one who called back, and he might be mistaken for who I am. He agreed, but did not want to proceed.
Fast forward a few weeks he calls me back. We set a time and I show up exactly on time. He has an attitude, then accuses me of being late. Once again he asks repeatedly for my business name, which I give. (Sign is on the truck)..
We then go to the tree, which was a topped Doug fir spar with a few stubs and no limbs. I asked who started the job but did not finish. He said it was the power company. ( no power lines for hundreds of feet).
I said no, I’m still healing my toe and wasn’t interested in such a small job (large backnlog). Gave him a few names, then he turns on me. He says how “you sure screwed up buddy, I own 50 properties and you are not working on a single one”. He is frothing at this point, I get in my truck and drive away..
I remained calm and polite the whole time, up till leaving, when I just didn’t say anything.
 
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