How Bad Service Can Ruin Your Online Reputation


Customer service plays a significant role in how customers perceive your business and for your business to thrive, you must get it right. In fact, it is more important than expensive (or cheap) marketing because it is hard to market anything if the former is missing or lacking.

If for example, a restaurant run by a rude manager rolls out creative marketing tactics, the marketing won’t really go a long way no matter how good it is. By the time that new customers arrive, they will, one way or another, be exposed to this rude manager and possibly never come back.

What Annoys Most Customers?

While it must be noted that good customer service can be defined by a number of parameters, some of which more subjective than others, it is ideal that you do your best when assisting customers. Offering great service trumps expensive marketing.

Business owners know that it is normal to experience a few mishaps with customers. Mistakes do happen and there will be odd days when you’re not on top of your game. It is interesting to point out that there will also be customers who are near impossible to appease and to please.

However, most customers are nice and only get angry when faced with very slow response times, long wait times, unprofessional or rude staff, and employees who do not have the necessary experience or knowledge needed for the job.

Bad Service Can Damage or Ruin Your Reputation

One of the biggest dangers of providing bad service is the damage it can do to your reputation. With most of America’s and the world’s customers active on social media and on review sites, you will likely get a negative review one way or another.

That’s not the end of it though because after leaving a review on sites like Facebook or Yelp, unhappy customers will also tell all their friends about their experience in your establishment. This can quickly become a nightmare. You can lose thousands in potential revenue and you’d have to build your reputation once again.

What happens if you keep getting bad reviews? One bad review can be an isolated case but getting a steady stream of negative reviews on your social media profiles or business page is a sign that something is wrong. Although there is a possibility that these are fake reviews, it is not such a bad idea to look in the mirror so to speak. If you are 100% sure that you are getting fake reviews, take a look at our articles below.

Fake Reviews, Smear Campaigns, and How to End Them

Fake Reviews and How to Spot Them

How to Deal With Trolls and Fake Reviews

How to Repair the Damage

It is ideal that you reach out to the people who wrote the negative reviews and try to resolve the issue. A key figure in your company should be given this task so that it is handled properly and professionally. If you have the time to do so, you can do it yourself too but remember not to get your emotions in the way. The worst is to fight negativity with more negativity.

Let me tell you a story about the Union Street Guest House in upstate New York. Their story became viral in 2014 and three years later, you get to hear the story again. Case in point, bad responses by business owners never really die down because someone somewhere will find it.  This hotel is now closed for good, according to Yelpers.

Now for the story. Union Street Guest House realized that online reviews are very important so they tried to improve their reputation on review sites. In an attempt to stop negative reviews from appearing on their business pages, the hotel rolled out an unfair policy. They announced a $500 charge for every negative review left by their guests. The hotel’s policy copy pasted below was taken from PR Daily.

If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event. If you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review.

This is an offensive policy to say the least and something that no business owner in his or her right mind would ever do. Customer service in many parts of the world already have a bad reputation and most customers who complain online often expect a horrible exchange. Responding to negative reviews in a negative way will make you look bad. It will kill sales from customers who would have gone to your business had you responded to a particular review in a professional manner. Surprising them with a positive response is definitely a good idea.