Service Excellence

Should You Care About One Bad Customer Review?

By Dave Matson Analyst Relations Manager December 5, 2014

There’s a little seasonal hot dog stand in downtown Hopkinton, Massachusetts, home to EMC’s corporate headquarters and the start of the Boston Marathon.

Snappy Dogs Sign

Snappy Dogs is owned and run by two passionate ladies who deliver simple, quality food to hungry masses from April through mid-November.  Because of their homemade condiments, outdoor grill, and friendly atmosphere, Snappy Dogs has earned five stars on Yelp – no easy feat.

Snappy Dogs 5 Stars

I can tell you first hand that they make a great dog! But if you scroll through the reviews, you will spot a two star review that dramatically criticizes the somewhat disorganized ordering process.

Snappy Dogs review

At first glance, it’s one of those reviews that makes you roll your eyes and say to yourself, ‘doesn’t this guy have better things to do than rip into a locally owned hot dog stand?’  The reviewer, Pete B. from Hopkinton, MA, writes,

“The experience itself is nothing short of M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E.”

“It’s really foolish and not the least bit enjoyable.”

Well, I strongly disagree with these statements but if you can get past the unnecessary anger in Pete’s post, he actually makes some accurate points.  The ordering process is a bit disorganized and there’s little rhyme or reason regarding payments or condiment application.  But, it’s a hot dog stand, people.  Let’s all take a deep breath.

As a business owner on Yelp, I can imagine that it would be frustrating to be on the receiving end of a review like this.  In fact, I think it would be easy to dismiss upon an initial read.  But there’s a lesson here for organizations of all shapes and sizes, both B2C and B2B.   When you get particularly passionate feedback from a specific customer, it’s important to listen and find out if their comments are reflective of a larger issue or pattern.  Many of your customers may quietly put up with a broken process.  But for how long?


EMC takes all comments seriously and always looks for patterns among survey responses to identify areas of potential improvement.  Even if those comments are about an area that we perceive as a strength.  There’s always room to learn and get better.

When spring comes, my colleagues and I will be back at Snappy Dogs, hungry as ever for their freshly baked buns and homemade condiments.  I wonder if the owners will take some of Pete’s comments to heart…  

“The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by EMC and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of EMC nor does it constitute any official communication of EMC.”

About Dave Matson

Analyst Relations Manager

Dave is an Analyst Relations Manager covering Dell EMC Global Services, the Channel, Alliances, and the office of the CTO. He was formerly in Global Services Marketing (now Dell EMC Services Marketing), responsible for rationalizing the portfolio and researching and developing new support services to address emerging market requirements. He is passionate about service excellence both with his work at Dell EMC and in his personal life.

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