Winter 2011
Your Customer is Here By Melissa Kellogg

Article Resources

Mehul Patel
Dominican Joe
Austin, TX

Cynthia Sutton-Stolle
Silver Barn
Columbus, TX

Lynn Switanowski-Barrett
Creative Business Consulting Group

Negative Reviews? Not to Worry!

What happens if you get some negative feedback on these websites from one of your shoppers? Lynn Switanowski founding partner of Creative Business Consulting based in Boston, MA, recommends that retailers address the issue in the public fashion that it was presented, contact the offended shopper and do what it takes to make things right. If it feels right, she suggests, ask the shopper for a public retraction or just a post to say that things are now settled amicably.

Cynthia Sutton-Stolle, owner of Silver Barn in Columbus, Texas, says that she would much rather a customer post dissatisfaction using social media so that she can address it publically. The public forum is a great way for all of her customers to see how she addresses complaints, Sutton-Stolle says. It creates more trust among other customers and provides an advantage for an independent retailer over larger retailers, she adds.

In the past she has worked for large, national chain retailers, before social media existed. Looking back, Sutton-Stolle says she would have loved to have customers post complaints on social media websites so that her stores could have addressed issues in a public way rather than have them be intimidated by dealing with a large corporate enterprise and spreading their dissatisfaction.

Melissa Kellogg

Kellogg is a freelance writer specializing in mountain home and living trends, marketing, real estate and business. She is based in Edwards, CO, and is a regular contributor to Mountain House & Home magazine. Her work has also been published in various newspapers and magazines, such as Beaver Creek Magazine and the Vail Daily.

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