Monday, June 21, 2010

Power of Customer Service and Reviews

So today I went to my favorite acai bowl spot here in San Diego called The Big Squeeze. Like any local business the people are always nice, their product is consistent and you feel good about giving your money to a small business owner as opposed to some chain. Well today was a bit different because what went from waiting 15 minutes lead me to Yelp to write a very authentic, unhappy review. So how did I get there?

  • Waiting Time - 15 to 20 minutes is ridiculous for an acai bowl
  • Unaware Employees - I not only waited, but the girl who was supposed to be making my acai bowl, continued to look over at me as she made 4 items for people who weren't even there.
  • Incorrect Order - As she wrapped up my bowl, she forgot the blueberries that I now have to pay extra for.
  • Cost - It's almost $8 for a large bowl now and they still charge you $0.30 for credit card transactions.
  • Not Environmentally Friendly - They still use styrofoam bowls/cups on top of wasting 4-5 sheets of aluminum foil to try to wrap up my overflowing, soupy acai bowl
So would I have gone and made a positive review on Yelp if everything went fine? Most likely not and here's why. I've been going here for 6 years and I have expectations, not just because I'm a loyal customer, but because I'm a part of a generation that expects things done right and if not, for someone to at least be accountable and aware. So when I left I was empowered by this poor customer service experience and driven to log into my Yelp account. I read a few other posts which validated what I was feeling and decided to write up my own review, giving them 3 stars and explaining what went wrong.

Here are a couple tips for small business owners:
  • Customer Service is King right now
  • Be aware of the online review websites
  • Engage your customers online
  • Actively seek feedback to improve business operations
  • Monitor your online reputation
  • Think about the current economy and how you can ensure your loyal customers keep coming back