How many times have you heard a conversation among friends that goes something like this?
“I’ll never eat /shop/visit there again. The service/products/experience was slow/lousy/poor and the staff was crabby/hostile/inattentive.”
With the power of referrals being significant, such negative comments will influence others and can hurt a business’ chance for success. Unless there is a risk to friends and family, it id important to carefully think before espousing random, unsubstantiated opinions. Before being the first to provide unfavorable comments, either in person or on a review site, consider the following:
Consider your mood: Did you have a bad day, were you feeling low or recently had a personal conflict that might have made you extra sensitive and have influenced your opinion of the experience?
Did you speak up?: When your experience with a business was “less than stellar” did you speak up and ask why? A manager may not be aware of your concern or the behavior of their staff. Their explanation may help and provide resolution.
Can You Be Empathetic?: Could your experience with the business be a “one time incident”? If you’re not able to find out what the problem would be, consider some other explanations. Maybe they were short staffed because of illness or an emergency. Maybe the rude waiter had a day full of difficult customers.
Can You Relate?: Have you ever been in a similar situation with a client or customer? How would you want them to treat you? Let that consideration be your guide to action.
Have You Considered forgiveness?: If you have never made a mistake or been crabby with a client or customer, then you may judge. Otherwise, depending upon the severity of the situation, it might be worth letting it go as a one-time “bad experience.”
Consider the Fact that Everyone Experiences Things Differently: Remember that while the meat might have been too rare for you, someone else might find it perfect. Take care not to sour someone on a business before they have a chance to try it for themselves.
Your opinion and tastes matters to your friends and to the businesses you patronize. We all want a second chance if things don’t go well the first time. If you had a bad experience, you may want to share that with the business first and given them another opportunity to earn your business.