Several months ago I wrote on Yelp about a hair salon nearby that I had gone to, and I felt the service was below par and the salon dirty. Dirty to the point that I didn’t want to put my handbag on the counter and had to ask the stylist to wipe off a chair.

Anyway, a few weeks later I received an email from one of the salon employees. She thanked me for my review and said that I had highlighted some of the issues that the staff was constantly bringing up with the owner. And then I received a phone call. From the owner. Who thanked me for my feedback and then asked me to take down my review. She asked that I call her back. Which I did. At which time she proceeded to say that I was right, but I was completely wrong and needed to take down the review because it was bad for her business and said she was going to report me to Yelp. At which point I laughed and said that Yelp would support me, because that’s what it was for and then she started screaming at me, and I politely said that I was going to put down the telephone. Which I did. She called me back later than afternoon and apologized and offered me a discounted haircut, which I declined.

She is now out of business. For the second time. And I bet it’s no thanks to me. If you run your business badly and are rude to customers, it’s going to take you down. Why not put the ego aside and relish the feedback you get from consumers?

Here’s a great example of exactly that: my co-worker Todd recently went for a haircut and the following day received a call from the salon. They wanted to know how his experience was, and said that if he felt inclined to write a review on Yelp, they’d give him $15 off his next haircut. Now I’m sure they only suggested that after ascertaining he was satisfied, but I think it’s this kind of discourse with consumers that creates a relationship. And $15 off doesn’t hurt either.