Yesterday I was reading another story where it was a bad example of customer service. It seems problems started when a consumer went to a restaurant with her husband and had a meal that she thought was substandard. Today went to an online meeting service, Yelp, and wrote a negative review about the place. That's when things took a very bad turn.

The owner of the restaurant, which shall remain nameless because it's really a tasteless name for restaurant decided to go on the attack. Because he had the woman's name, although it's never clear how he got it since she paid cash, he went and looked around online and found she had a Facebook account. He then posted her picture on his Facebook business page with some very unflattering words about her and her apparent lack of tipping, as well as saying she and her husband licked the plates clean so they must have liked the food.

He received a few responses supporting him. Unfortunately, he received a lot more responses telling him off for his bad behavior in treating a customer at that. And, since it seems his restaurant had been on the down slope anyway, it didn't make a lot of new friends who might be encouraged to visit his restaurant.

Because the response was swift, he pulled the picture and his original statement and issued an apology, which would have been good except he once again added that it all occurred because the customer didn't tip the waitress. Someone eventually told the customer that she was being talked about, and she went to the page and said that she did indeed tip, paying $40 for a bill that came to $32. She said that based on the food no tip should have been warranted, but that the waitress did treat her nice. She also said that her husband licked his plate because he liked the barbecue sauce, and that he wasn't as picky about his food as she was.

The overall problem is that this was a restaurant in disarray, on the brink of closing because it had few customers, and here was someone who probably wrote a review the owner should have learned something from to make his product better. Instead, he went on the attack because his feelings were hurt; that's never a good thing in general. No one was going to mistake it for good customer service that I previously wrote about.

I certainly understand someone not wanting to accept something bad being said about their business; I know I wouldn't like it. But there are definitely better ways of defending oneself than what this restaurant owner did. You never try to shame a customer, even if you're totally in the right, unless they did something really heinous. You also don't allow your staff to do anything like this.

In business, you always have to think of the big picture and decide how you want to handle things. You can either do something positive about it if it's warranted, or ignore it and move on, but never get on the bad side of someone whose bad side you're already on. It never improves for you and can get even worse, as this owner has discovered.
 

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