If you have a business, chances are that someone will complain about some aspect of your service or product. This is just a fact of life: you can't please everyone. Complaints can come in a variety of forms. In today's world, a complaint might be a bad review on Yelp or a post on Facebook. It could also be a complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or even with the state Attorney General's office. Regardless of how people complain about your business, you should always respond to their comments in a productive way.
Sometimes people who write a bad review just want to feel heard and have their feelings acknowledged. Most online review services, including Yelp, allow business owners to respond to complaints or bad reviews if the owner has claimed the business. You might address their feelings with a simple statement: "We're sorry you felt that way. We always strive for the best in customer service and will do our best to address this in the future." Don't make excuses - acknowledge their feelings and move on. Take the complaint as constructive criticism and see if you can fix the problem that the consumer brought to your attention.
When a complaint is filed with the BBB, the business owner can log in and post a response to complaints. When you respond, stick to the facts. Think of your response as an opportunity to tell your side of the story.
In Minnesota, you also have to opportunity to respond to complaints filed with the Attorney General's office. While the AG's office welcomes consumer complaints, they also recognize that not all complaints have a solid legal foundation. If you are facing possible action from the AG's office, you will want to consult an attorney. The attorney can help you understand the complaint and craft an effective response. You may also need the attorney to defend you if the complaint progresses to a lawsuit brought by the AG's office.
Kjirsten Lee is an attorney with rb LEGAL in Golden Valley. Kjirsten focuses on helping people prevent and solve problems. She assists clients in general civil matters, focusing particularly on business and equine law. She has worked on matters involving buy-sell agreements, contract disputes, commercial leases, real estate transactions, buying and selling horses, conducting legal audits, and more.
This information has been prepared for general informational purposes and is not legal advice. You should not rely on any information contained in this article in evaluating any specific legal issues you may have, and instead should seek legal advice from a licensed attorney.