A small business’ relationship with its customers can sometimes make or break the small business. Word of mouth, internet reviews, and reports to a regulating board can positively or negatively affect a business tremendously today, and small businesses should be careful about preserving a good image. While the old saying “the customer is always right” might not always be true, there are ways to balance customer dissatisfaction without compromising the business.
Small business owners or their employees can sometimes make big promises in an attempt to land accounts or ensure customers choose products from the small business. These big promises may be considered harmless advertising in some cases, however, in other cases these promises can be considered much more and may be enforced legally if the business owner fails to live up to them. There are laws in Florida that prohibit the false advertisement of goods and services, and violation of these laws can lead to criminal charges and lawsuits seeking restitution and other damages.
False advertising mainly revolves around making false promises to get people to buy or commit to a service. Promising people free goods and services or hiding costs and fees are some of the tactics that can lead to complaints of false advertisement. If a business has no intention of fulfilling the promises, it should make sure that these promises are not made, and communicate this to all the employees who may interact with customers. The actions of rogue employees can affect the business negatively with customers and financially. Small business owners should ensure that any person reaching out to potential customers follows the business message, a common sales pitch that focuses on what the business can truly deliver.
Beyond false advertising, a business should be careful with how it responds to consumer complaints. Most customers who are dissatisfied with a business’s products or services write reviews online on various sites. It is not uncommon for other potential consumers to investigate a business by seeking out and reading these reviews when deciding whether to engage with a small business. Negative reviews can cause a business to lose valuable revenue. It is wise for small business owners to consider developing a uniform customer complaint response procedure for dealing with complaints about the business and its representatives. Prompt response to complaints can keep bad reviews off the internet, and may also encourage a few good ones. However, small business owners should remember that it is not possible to please everyone and in some cases, the negative reviews will come regardless of what steps the business takes to avoid them. Even negative and undeserved complaints should be handled professionally and in a manner that avoids escalating the problem.
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When planning an advertising campaign or perhaps even smaller scale marketing brochures, it is always a good idea to check that the content of the material is in compliance with the law and will not lead to legal and other problems later. If your small business is looking for an experienced business attorney in North Miami, contact the Charlip Law Group, L.C. for a consultation.