A customer ordered two pairs of earrings, one happened to be a pair of earrings that the mate went missing. I immediately contacted the customer and let her know that something had happened in my inventory and I was very apologetic. I offered her multiple resolutions all of which included a 25% off discount coupon towards her next purchase with the encouragement that her happiness and satisfaction was very important to me. The customer chose to have a refund which I was more than happy to do that day. Fast forward a few days and she reaches out to me again to let me know that she had not yet received her refund I let her know that that was absolutely not acceptable and I would look into it immediately, which I did and for some reason her refund in fact did not get issued, so I re-issued the partial refund and sent her proof that I had indeed reissued this refund and to please let me know as soon as she had received her refund, that was very important to me that she got her money back. That's when things went South.
The ReviewAll of this communication took place within six days. Most transactions take 2 to 7 business days to post your bank account. Instead of communicating with me further she chose to leave a one-star review on my shop accusing me of having lied and not giving her, her money back. Now when I say this made me physically upset that's an understatement. I waited a moment to reply to her as I was so upset. I was in the middle of eating my dinner when the review came in and I stopped eating. I lost my appetite. It took about an hour for me to reach out to her, I told her I was sorry that I thought communication was very important, that I thought I had communicated effectively with her, that we needed to take our time to wait on her funds to be released to her bank, but that her comment was very detrimental to my shop. I heard nothing back from her for three days. Now, I'm not going to tell you which platform this occurred on because I don't want to bash any one platform, but I will say the customer service on this platform is notorious for siding with the customer and not the merchants. Instead of waiting around for a reply from the platform, I went ahead and issued a public response.
See the personal note?
The Days in Between
From the time the review was posted to the time I replied publicly was about 72 hours. In that 72 hours I did nothing related to my business. I was depressed, I was broken hearted, I was angry, and most of all I felt helpless. Now I know what you're thinking, Analisa, this is just one review why are you letting it bother you so much? The easy answer to that is because I care. I am not a thief, first of all. I also work my tail off to ensure amazing customer service and satisfaction guaranteed. I reply to a customer as soon as I'm able to, sometimes this is even on my lunch break because I'm also a teacher. When I tell you that I felt personally attacked and that my character was being judged, more so than my product, then maybe you'll understand why I spent 72 hours in a huge funk.
The ResolutionAfter I reached out to the customer, I waited. I waited 72 hours to see if she would reply, to see if the platform would reply, to do my research in groups to see how others handled these types of reviews, but most of all, I waited. I wanted to make sure my reply to the public was heartfelt, truthful, and trustworthy. I realize that she is one customer out of thousands, but I wanted people to know that every customer and every review is important to me as a person first, then as a brand. I realize that sometimes reviews are left on our product, that there was something physically wrong with the product, it arrived broken, it wasn't the right size, shape, color, things that we are in control of. Those types of reviews are learning experiences and growing opportunities for any business. This review was not like that, this review was defamation of character and I think that's why it hurts so much.
Now What?All I can say is that moving forward I am going to be better about sending proof with every communication I have with the customer. I'm going to screenshot everything and resend it back to the customer for confirmation. I will track every last penny in the refund to make sure that it arrives where it's supposed to go in a timely manner. Except that I already do that, I provided this customer with screenshots, I explained to this customer how third parties released their funds to banks, I did all of that. So then, what is the point of this blog? The point of this blog is to let other small business owners know that sometimes a bad review is just that. It's just a bad review from someone who maybe was just having a bad day. I think going forward I am going to keep doing what I've always been doing and that is providing excellent customer service. Sometimes my friends, you can do everything right and someone is still unhappy.
Have you ever had a bad review that was unvalidated or false? Leave it in the comments below, share your experiences with others, I would love to hear about it.
Create something today even if it's just a cosita.