Customers Aren’t Always Right

Rhonda HiltbrandI recently had an interesting conversation with a 16 year-old that works for a fast food chicken sandwich restaurant.  He was telling me that they have a man who comes in once a week, and orders a combo meal.  He then complains about the meal, so he is given a coupon for a free one next time.  He goes through this routine every week.  I was amazed and asked why they let him get by with it.  He said it is their policy (not widely known) and everyone who works there knows what the guy is doing, but they don’t want the hassle of correcting him.

I have customers who are devastated when they get an unfair, unkind review online.  They ask me what they should do.  They panic! I look at all their reviews and they are glowing…except for the one “mean” one.  I tell them to ask (online) the disgruntled customer to call them directly, or to stop in.  That gets it off the Internet and shows caring to any other reader.

I do notice one thing in common…it is always a complaint about the pricing first…then maybe the work.  I feel that makes it a pricing issue.  They want something for free and feel if they go online and make a fuss about it, the shop owner will cut them a deal just to keep them quiet.  The customer probably does this over and over again at different repair shops.  It is obvious that they knew the price before they said, “go ahead” so…

If this ever happens to you, and they do come in and talk to you, determine if this is just a “money-grab” or a real complaint about the service/repair job.  Of course, if the service/repair was incorrect, make it right!  If it was really about the money, ask why they gave permission to proceed with the job.

I am mostly writing this to say, should this happen to you, don’t be devastated.  There are people out there who almost make it a profession to “get something for nothing” due to the convenience of online complaining.  Don’t let it tear you or your staff apart.  You know you are great, I know you are great, and most importantly, from the majority of the glowing reviews, your customers know it, too.

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing