Remember this every time you have an opportunity to interact with your customers. They can always shop somewhere else. Make sure you treat them with respect and get them the answers to their questions in a timely manner. Provide a pleasant experience overall and they will come back.
Notice, I said "opportunity" above. That's because you should look at it that way. It's an "opportunity" to impress and to assist them get what they need. Be it a service or a product. You should feel fortunate that they chose your establishment to spend their hard earned money. And you want them to continue to do so.
The 100 Rule: For every one person that complains, 100 people choose not to complain.
What does this mean? Well, have you ever been at a restaurant and not liked the food, but didn't say anything? You are part of the 100. Wouldn't it be better for the restaurant if you complained. That way they would understand why you aren't going to return.
Well I was at breakfast with my husband a couple of weeks ago. We were staying at a local hotel on the beach. We were the only ones in the restaurant. The average breakfast was $10.95, which is high for breakfast, but normal for a hotel breakfast. When the food came, the eggs were artificial and the rest of it was being lifted from the left over buffet. It was horrible and there wasn't a piece of food on the plate with any flavor. It was crap. So when the bill came, my husband signed it and wrote, "Food was terrible" on the receipt. At first, I was horrified. But then I decided, he was right. And for a $35 breakfast, it sucked.
So later in the day, our waitress stopped us and asked what specifically about our meal was terrible. And we told her, even though I was a little embarrassed. We were specific about our complaints and the waitress was taking the information back to the staff.
Now, I don't know if anything was or will be done with our complaint. We hope so as otherwise it is our favorite hotel. But the morale is, if we get bad food, we will go somewhere else.
The next day we both had breakfast for under $20 and it was fabulous. It was at the Blueberry Muffin in Melbourne. A link below if you're interested.
Listen to the complaints
It is so important to listen to complaints. Those are people trying to help your business. If someone takes the time to tell you whats wrong, listen. Listening to our customers is just as important as servicing them.