I don’t care what company you are, how your pride yourself on resolving client problems and dealing with customers service issues, in today’s world there are going to be at least a few clients that you simply cannot satisfy.  A good example was about six months ago when a client wrote a bad check and wanted to take us to the BBB because we charged a return check charge.  Her reasoning that was in tough times like these we shouldn’t charge for return checks, WOW!

 Let’s face it, the customer is always right, but no there not!  Some clients in today’s crazy, stressed out world are just plain, “bat-shit insane”  (a quote from Archer on FX).  98% of most of any businesses clients are a pleasure to work with.  We want to do more for them then they paid for just because they are so nice.  But 2% of all clients have turned bitching and complaining into an art-form, realizing that most business will give away whatever it takes to get the raging harpy out of their business.

 Back in the day, the “Raging Harpy’s” of the world only had two outlets to publicly rant.  Telling all their friends, (but because they were raging harpys they probably didn’t have that many) and the BBB, that’s right the Better Business Bureau.  While the BBB will accept any complaint, no matter how ridiculous, they do try and mediate, or bring the parties together. Once you respond to the problem, even if it is not resolved, your standing is not changed.

 Now we have the internet, where reviews are possible on search engines, as well as web site set up just for reviews.  While reviews are helpful and have made it easier for the consumer to get some direction, reviews without a company’s guidance tend to always be negative.  Reviews are now the first place where the raging harpy’s of the world go to vent their frustrations.  I don’t care how known a company is for customer service, there are always a few blistering reviews on their poor service.  The Ritz Carlton is known for their extreme customer service and the last time I looked them up they too had some unhappy guests.

 The solutions to the problem is either medicate the raging harpys of the world (I am starting a petition….just kidding) or drown the negative reviews in a sea of positive reviews.  This is the reason why so many companies ask and reward clients for their reviews.  Because you choose who you will ask, you can somewhat control the reviews of your business or at least give the reviews balance.  If you don’t actively solicit positive reviews for your business, you will be stuck looking at the one or two reviews left from the raging harpy’s of the world.

 Disclaimer here, Disclaimer!  Every time I write about a topic other than posing and lighting, I get a few comments or emails from people that hate filling in the blanks and love to ask obvious questions.  “Surely you don’t mean to say that every complaint has no merit and that every negative complaint is from a raging harpy, ARE YOU!”  That right, Captain Obvious, reading between the lines was always hard for you wasn’t it!  Obviously I am talking about the vast majority of photographers and studios that bend over backwards trying to make their clients happy and who take customer service seriously, not the few studio owners that could really care less about their clients as long as they get their money.  I am so glad the majority of my readers had to read that last paragraph to explain the obvious.

 Moral to the story, reward good clients for leaving reviews and you will see you positive reviews over shadow the few rants from unreasonable people.  Because the Raging Harpy’s will never leave a review of what actually happened, (they don’t want to sound stupid), they will criticize your photography, your “rude” staff and your studio.  They will sound really convincing in making your business sound like the studio from hell.  And even if it is pure fiction, you can’t leave it standing alone; you must get positive reviews to offset the negative.    


~ by jeffsmithbooks on June 4, 2011.

2 Responses to “BAD REVIEWS…….IN HARSH TIMES!”

  1. Well said. I just had a photographer friend who received a complaint regarding what he charged for a wedding (and it was a cut rate, below market value since they were friends). It was not from the Bride and Groom but from someone else who, from how I understand it, wasn’t even part of the family. In the world there will always be those who complain, even if there isn’t anything to complain about. Not to mention those who feel “entitled” to something for nothing. One can only do the best they can in “smoothing” over these types of issues, and if all else fails, chalk that client up to one who is lost (literally). Well written article and one that makes perfect sense. Thank you!

  2. Well said! It’s called the tyranny of the minority. How dare anyone challenge their place of high self-esteem.

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