If you love an independently owned business, take a few minutes of your time and show them some love by recommending them on FB and/or leaving them a review on Google. Your favorite bars, pizza joints, restaurants, shops, anything.
The people on the other side of the review will be jumping up and down with excitement. They work really hard. Recommending the business they bust their ass for is the easiest way to put a smile on someone’s face. Small businesses live by their reviews and don’t have big budgets for marketing and advertising. The big box stores and mega corporations don’t need your reviews-we all know Target isn’t going anywhere. If we want to keep independent businesses around, we have to shout them out so people can find the gems. It will make someone’s day. Instant karma points.
***Even better when you mention the specific name of the person that helped you. Customer service is hard, and calling them out for a job well done is the kindest thing you could for someone who took care of you or went the extra mile.
Conversely, when you have a bad experience or have something to say, it is always best to contact the business directly. No need to trash the entire establishment, their online reputation, nor hurt their future business because you have a very valid opinion about something or even because the mashed potatoes were a little cold for your liking.
We’ve all made some social media blunders at some point (??♀️guilty) and hopefully learned from them. Your opinions and feedback are valued more than you may realize to small businesses, and social media is very powerful.
If you care at all and want to truly help and make your voice heard, there’s a better way. Tell them privately. Bashing publicly because of a minor detail or single bad experience hurts everyone that depends on that business for their livelihood; their staff, their families. Businesses want to hear your feedback to improve, to right wrongs, and to grow. Small business owners want to know what’s going on (especially when they’re not always standing right there) and love suggestions, advice, and constructive criticism. Owners and managers can’t have their eyes on every single little thing (though they try) nor control every circumstance. Businesses are compromised of humans, and humans make mistakes. If you see something that isn’t right, let them know privately and give them the opportunity to make it right. Most likely they will be more than grateful you called something important to their attention so they can address it and do better.
***Also if your server or rep isn’t perfect or makes a mistake, keep in mind it’s not personal and likely has nothing to do with you.
Instead of jumping to the conclusion that they suck, consider that the restaurant may be very short-staffed and they are doing the best they can given the circumstances, or maybe they were called in on their day off to help. They might be a student, working several jobs to make ends meet, tired from being up all night with sick children, or even all of the above. Many people in customer service don’t get sick days and can’t afford to not be at work. Maybe your server is struggling with some sort of loss or fighting a battle you know nothing about…all while Cheryl is running her ragged, she’s trying to make sure Karen’s complicated food order comes out okay, and Carol wants to speak to the manager. Consider all the variables before passing judgment.
And if you believe they are just the absolute worst at customer service, telling management privately or via email is better and far more effective. They can fix problems, implement more training, or decide their employment isn’t a good fit and move on. Telling Yelp that Jessica sucks and took forever to deliver your chicken sandwich isn’t worth it. Jessica may have only lasted a week and isn’t representative of their delicious food and standard service.
Remembering that people are people is so important. Life is hard, and we are all trying. It’s far more rewarding to build people up and do good than to be a dick.
Written by Brittany Danielle Smith, who owns two small businesses in Dayton, and originally posted on her Facebook page and is reprinted with permission.
438 E. 5th St
Dayton, Ohio 45402
Open 11am – 8pm daily
A curated mercantile filled with clothing, home goods, local/handmade, dayton-centric gifts, jewelry, vintage finds and much more.
261 Wayne Avenue
Dayton, Ohio 45402
Open 11am – 8pm daily
Luna is filled with lovely plants, fresh cut flower bouquets, and many unique gifts for all of the people you love. We sought to fulfill a little niche downtown, a place filled with beautiful things that we would want to find while out exploring, and enjoying the neighborhood that we call home.