A woman came into my shop the other day and asked for a coffee: dark and cold, sweet but not too sweet, and asked if I had any flavors - which I don't. I knew she wanted an iced drink. I mentioned three different coffees that were relatively dark for my list of medium to medium dark coffees. Then I let her know I can make an iced latte, explaining the milk will make the drink sweeter. My whole presentation took less than 30 seconds - which is long but I was not certain what she really wanted.

 

She said, "Just give me an iced coffee". So I did, with my darker roast, Japanese style. I have several regulars that really like the way I make iced coffee. Everything is weighed and measured for consistency.

 

Shortly after, I get this bad write up on Yelp. She complained I lectured her on iced lattes, basically wasted her time, and her drink was just OK. I sent her a message apologizing for the confusion and offered her a free coffee if she was not satisfied with the first one.

 

I had a previous customer complain on Yelp about a drink having a chemical taste, and wrote her as well. She is now a happy regular customer and since updated her Yelp report.

 

How would you deal with this?

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there is a difference between an honest review and entrapment. You answered her questions and navigated her obscure request and she complains about it. Sounds like something she may do often as a test. Many people will give you an honest shake without being sneaky. Others are just wanting to complain about something and will do just that for no good reason.

 

Due to the controversy of abuse surrounding Yelp, I choose not to participate in any way.
Our customers do participate and many people use it to find new places. I've had people come in because the read about us on Yelp. It would be nice if there was a better way to qualify the customer experience along with customer comments.

Adrian Badger said:
Due to the controversy of abuse surrounding Yelp, I choose not to participate in any way.

It's difficult to not want to "set the record straight" or to put things in context, but in the end, the best thing to do is to "stay above the fray" (to add another cliche).

 

There will always be a few weird people, and even those who are out to get you, but do nothing... the truth about who you are and what you do will come out.

Agreed John.

John P said:

It's difficult to not want to "set the record straight" or to put things in context, but in the end, the best thing to do is to "stay above the fray" (to add another cliche).

 

There will always be a few weird people, and even those who are out to get you, but do nothing... the truth about who you are and what you do will come out.

word

Adrian Badger said:
Due to the controversy of abuse surrounding Yelp, I choose not to participate in any way.

Yelp is a mess.  I have had several conversations with other businesses - coffee and other - that try to avoid it at all costs.  There is just no way to protect your business with it and it seems it is mostly used to complain...

 

It sounds like you did the only thing you can do!  

I think most people use Yelp and other online review services with a grain of salt.  I know I do but it doesn't keep me from using them.  I see "insider" reviews all the time and I also see "venting screed" from a dissatisfied customer all the time.  I tend to discount both the overly negative and the overly positive and look at the rest.  My sense is that if a place is busy and doing good business then they will have a good number of reviews on Yelp.  By throwing out the obvious plugs and the obvious vents you can get a good idea of what a place is like.  When my place is open I will deal with a bad Yelp just like you did.  I'm figuring that by just being myself, honest, and actually committed to excellent customer service the truth will show through the noise.
You can register as the owner of the business and leave a reply explaining your side of the story, but yeah most people don't pay too much attention to a few bad reviews as long as the majority is good. It doesn't matter how good you are there will always be a few wack jobs or competitors trying to make you look bad and posting fake reviews. I use to care abuot what people said because some actually gave good feedback to gauge how your employees are doing when your not there but after a while I just got tired of the few whack jobs that would complain about the dumbest thing. I got one that said they usually don't like almond flavored italian sodas, but they decided to get one anyways and than complained they didn't like it? You just have to sit back and laugh.
LOL. The definition of insanity.

peter pan said:
 I got one that said they usually don't like almond flavored italian sodas, but they decided to get one anyways and than complained they didn't like it? You just have to sit back and laugh.

I got one that said they usually don't like almond flavored italian sodas, but they decided to get one anyways and than complained they didn't like it? You just have to sit back and laugh.

 

 

I used to use yelp to find places, til I learned they blackmail bussiness by removing bad feedback if you pay to advertise on there website.

When I've used Yelp in the past, I've been impressed when owners have responded to criticism honestly, and explained how they've dealt with a problem. It shows me that they care, and often I can tell a bit by the tone what the owner is like. I am always cautious, though, about any review. I take the whole thing with a grain of salt. I hadn't heard they remove negatives reviews for cash. That makes me even more skeptical about it...

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