Imagine you’re grabbing lunch at a restaurant and the soup you ordered arrives stone cold. You call over the waiter and tell him the problem. He takes the cup of soup and throws it out the nearby window then turns and walks away away. You wait for a while thinking he’ll come back to address the problem. He never returns.
If you were the manager of that restaurant, would you sanction that type of customer interaction?
That’s basically what happens when you remove a negative comment. You have accomplished 6 things:
- You have shown the person that they wasted their time commenting.
- You have missed an opportunity to engage with a customer and solve a problem.
- You will probably not deal with the underlying issue of the complaint meaning others may leave the same comment in the future.
- You may have pushed the person to start commenting places where negative comments live forever.
- They will now talk about the bad interaction AND the fact that you deleted their comment.
- You’ve raised the bar so that people will assume that you never have any problems.
Your customers are going to complain sometimes. You’re not perfect. The good news is that customers don’t expect perfect. What most people expect is communication and sometimes a pat on the back to let them know they are special.
Not long ago I was at Brewmaster’s Bar & Grill with a gang of friends. Everything was fine, but when it was time to pay and leave, it took forever. I left a review on Yelp with that information. The next day, I had an email from them telling me that they wanted to fix the situation and have me back again. That’s how you handle a negative review.
What was the last place that really impressed you with their customer service?