The Customer Is NOT Always Right
Business Owner Perspective:
Let me start this post off by saying that this is definitely a venting session. I've got a LOT to say! LOL! In this industry, we deal with so much from clients.
1. The customer isn't always right and it's the disrespectful and/or entitled clients who make it harder for the people who come after them. They're a large reason why some businesses become so rigid and form six million policies. Those policies are protecting their business in some way. "
In the weddings and events industry, Bridezillas are a thing, but to be honest, we have found that "Clientzillas" are also a thing. Not everyone is this way, but many are. If it isn't the client, it's one of their family members, colleagues, friends, etc. We used to deal with it passively in fear of bad reviews, but we decided as a business that EVERY SINGLE PERSON that walks onto our property will receive respect. That includes clients, their guests, and our staff.
Vent session (LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK):
POOR REVIEWS HURT SMALL BUSINESSES- If you are unhappy with a service, please share that with the respective business before going onto a public platform to leave a poor review. Give the business the opportunity to address your concerns. If your concerns are truly not handled fairly (this definitely happens), then a poor review is more understandable. However, be fair and tell all sides of an issue. Sometimes, it really is the fault of the business. In other circumstances, however, customers are wrong. Don't act ugly, disregard policies- especially when a contract is signed- and then slander the business. Poor reviews can hurt businesses, especially small businesses. Be honest AND fair in your reviews. Otherwise, it is SLANDER and God don't like ugly. Example: We had a fatherZILLA of a bride ask the staff if he could have two different entrees since he paid for the wedding. For reference- the Client had contracted/paid for everyone to have one entree each. When asked for their entree count, they requested a 50/50 split of both options (this is dangerous by the way- event hosts, make sure you get an accurate count of entree choices from your guests). The staff explained that if there was food left after the event that he could get more. He didn't like that response and decided to leave a review saying that our food portion sizes were "horrendously" small. He didn't explain the request for a 50/50 split. He didn't explain that their request for a 50/50 split was a bad call. Far more guests preferred one entree over the other, and the staff was working their butts off to control portion sizes to accommodate the demand. He didn't explain that there was PLENTY of the other entree available. He just decided to slam the team regarding portion sizes without explaining the entire story. Our team was actually hurt by his review. The team worked from 7:00 a.m. in the morning for setup/decorating until after midnight for cleanup. Food prep happened in the days prior. Throughout the entire event, guests complimented the staff on the food, decorations and services only for it to end with an unfair review. That review was disrespectful. Our team deserved a tip (that didn't happen) and a THANK YOU.
Vent session two: He's not the only person that we've had to deal with that has unrealistic expectations. For those of you who walk through buffet lines at events expecting more food, do you walk into a restaurant and ask for more food without paying for it? Do you walk into a store and pick up more food items expecting not to pay for it? We charge per person. If you get seconds when there are leftovers, consider it a blessing. How many restaurants offer a free meal when they make extra? We only guarantee what has been paid for. Deal with it.
When it comes to events, it is personal. FOR BOTH SIDES
1. To our fellow industry professionals: The Zilla's aren't attacking you personally. We've had to learn that most events are extremely emotional for clients. Some brides have been planning their weddings since they were little girls (or their mother have been planning since conception...). We had a client who overcame a cancer battle and was determined to throw themselves a birthday party for the ages, and that they did! There were some "zilla" moments during the planning process. We had to deal with a disrespectful situation from the client to some team members. However, once the disrespect was addressed professionally, we were back on the same page. The client apologized and explained that their emotions were just attached to their desire for an amazing celebration. The party was incredible, and the client thanked us repeatedly afterward. Lesson learned.
To clients/patrons of small businesses: If you are doing business with professionals who are passionate about what they do, you best believe your responses are personal. We LOVE to hear that you are happy with our services. In that same vein, we are hurt or disappointed when our client isn't happy. If you aren't happy or if you want something to change, be honest, but don't be rude and don't be passive. We understand that this event is important to you, but we take our work seriously and the work we produce reflects on us, so this event is also important to us. We want to get it right. I promise.
2. Back to our fellow industry professionals: Perfection is unattainable. Excellence and perfection aren't the same thing. Strive for excellence. Screw perfection. We ain't Jesus. Also, just know that excellence is in the eye of the beholder. We have hosted what we thought was an incredible event and we'd pat ourselves on the back afterwards only to receive extremely critical feedback or a low star rating on Google from the client (or event attendee). It used to be devastating, but we no longer allow one person's negativity or personal opinion stop or slow our momentum. Don't get it twisted, we NEED honest feedback. We have to learn and get better. However, there is a huge difference between helpful feedback and negativity. We've learned the difference and we encourage you to do the same.