Customer service rules seem simple “” you and your employees provide customers with the best service possible in exchange for building loyalty to your business. Bad customers, however, often tempt workers to retaliate through other venues. Such retaliation, such as posting online receipts from cheap customers who refuse to tip, can greatly damage the image of a business and its employees. There are many ways you can deal with bad customers, but public shaming has a rippling effect that can result in negative publicity for the organization and disciplinary action for the offender.
Public Shaming Has Negative Consequences
Posting receipts online from bad customers may seem like a harmless way to get back at customers who have frustrated you or acted in an untoward manner. The span of the Internet may lead you to believe that the act you’ve taken in retaliation may never get back to the customer or the company, but online venues have dramatically reduced the fabled six degrees of separation. The Huffington Post reports that customer service is the new proactive marketing, and when employers hear of employees who have negatively taken matters into their own hands, they may have little recourse beyond termination.
The damage done by retaliation against a bad customer can have lasting repercussions for your business. Companies that become known for not protecting sensitive private information, such as credit card numbers or purchase details, are not viewed favorably in the digital age. It could even result in civil charges against the company should the data on the payment slips be used in a fraudulent fashion. In addition, negative associations with your company and its handling of sensitive info may encourage consumers to go elsewhere or deny employees tips as a form of consumer retaliation.
Create a Good Experience
Many consumers flock to specific businesses because of a positive customer experience. Customers like to feel appreciated, if not outright pampered, when they deal with a company. Many major companies have made their names through the quality of their service, and most of them have very strict policies for how bad customers are handled. Carefully and calmly addressing customer issues and making polite inquiries as to how customers feel they have been treated by staff can give your organization a leg up on the competition.
Bad customers are often a result of poor service interactions. This is not always true, but publicly shaming customers is never acceptable. Your company can benefit greatly from service training and a clearly defined process for how to handle both sensitive customer information and customers who act inappropriately. Modern companies need to be able to convert bad customers into loyal consumers who can spread praise of their company through word of mouth. Solid service is a cornerstone of this process.
About the Author
Nancy Anderson is the communities and article editor for Beyond.com. Nancy has 10 years experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites. Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on https://twitter.com/BeyondJobs.