A Story of Customer Satisfaction Turned Sour

Once upon a time, I gave a product a 1-star review. The company tried to fix the experience and actually made it WAY worse.

I needed one new HDMI cable and ordered a 4-pack from Amazon because when you're a tech nerd, you keep stuff like this in stock. Unfortunately, after one cable proved to be defective, I discovered the entire 4-pack was unusable.

As I'd ordered through Amazon and that's where I left my 2-star review. One of those stars was simply because they were cheap and delivered fast, and the description of what I received was accurate.

The company reached out, apologized for my receiving a defective batch, refunded my money AND sent me a brand new replacement pack.

Like most people, my goal with my review wasn't to slander or insult the company, but simply to help prevent other customers from having the experience I did, so this response was unexpected and really positive! They'd asked if I'd consider editing my review (and gave me instructions on how to do so), and of course, I said I absolutely would. I was prepared to give them 5 stars and rave about how awesome they were if the new cables weren't defective. Like 89.7% percent of people, I was willing to give the company a second chance.

Before I'd received the new cables, I received a phone call from the company, asking me if I'd tried them out and had a chance to edit my review. I let them know they weren't here yet, and that was acknowledged... but again it was repeated that I could edit or delete my existing review.

Then I received an email stating the exact same thing. It was obviously their phone script. Now, many people use scripts. That's fine. But when you hear it from a person, but then receive the actual script via email, it loses its personal touch, and feels fake.


Please just MAKE IT STOP!

I ended up moving before I could test the new cables, and received no less than NINE more phone calls and emails asking for the edit or deletion of my review. 

It had become obvious they didn't care about my experience with their product. All they cared about was trying to convince me to delete or edit my negative review. I felt harassed by the company at this point, and the 5 star review I'd had planned was now no longer truthful, as my experience soured as they made it clear that my experience really wasn't their concern at all.

Through poor customer service techniques, they'd turned what initially had been a great customer experience into one that was even worse than the initial problem. I had gone from leaving one negative review about a product, to actively telling my family and friends how irritating this company was.

When considering how I handle customer satisfaction with my clients, I always consider what the right thing is to do for the customer, which has to include how the customer feels. When I host webinars, do consultations, or interact with customers, I do ask for people to leave reviews, but with the understanding that very few people choose to leave them, and that's okay. I won't harass people into leaving it, because no one likes to be forced into anything, and when you try, you only make matters worse. In fact, in a study with 2,000 people, a bad customer service interaction is actually the WORST offense and the thing most likely to make people publicly complain.

Understanding customer satisfaction goes beyond one single action, but is the culmination all of your actions as a whole can completely change your entire process in handling mistakes, poor experiences, and prevent negative word of mouth. Most customers ARE willing to give you a second chance, so it's important to ensure that you use it well.



It's a great time, before the holidays, to ensure that your customer satisfaction methods in your company are solid, compassionate, humanizing, and never make matters worse.

If you ever feel you need help with understanding how to respond to bad reviews, let's work together. We'll review your current strategies, or create new ones if need be, so you know can make even a terrible customer experience into a positive one and improve your company's image at the same time.