We have a number of ways to collect customer feedback and I ensure that any negative score or comment we get from any source comes right to my email box so I can investigate personally. We don't get that many negative comments, perhaps a couple a month (which is pretty good with over 2 million visitors last year). The most common negative comment is something like "your employee was very rude to me."
This comment is a good illustration of how it can be hard to parse customer comments. Because from my experience, the comment "your employee was rude to me" tends to mean one of two very different things:
- My employees were actually rude to the customer, requiring an immediate intervention on my part
- My employees were as patient and polite as can be expected, but were giving the customer an answer the customer did not want to hear (e.g. "you can't park on the grass, I need you to move your car.")
This year, I would say explanation #2 is in the lead by about 70%-30% over explanation 1. As an operator of a public campground, we must enforce the rules set by the public agency. We frequently encounter customers who simply do not like the rules and therefore consider the existence of the rules to be a violent aggression against them. A great example is food storage. In areas of high bear activity, it is important that customer properly store their food so as not to attract bears to the campground -- campers in these areas are given literature about food storage and our hosts come by to explain the rules and answer questions. But there are folks who simply won't comply, and these folks frequently complain to me that my people are being rude.
Postscript: As an added bonus, I will give you one example of why businesses often tear their hair out over online reviews. A year or so ago we got a Yelp review at a lakefront campground saying that the customer had been "lied to" because she was not allowed to use her jetskis in the lake. I was surprised at this, since the no jetski rule is set in stone by our government partner and I thought we had made it pretty clear on the web site. So I contacted the customer asking what we had done to mislead her. She said that her dad promised her that she could jetski and we wouldn't let her so that is why she said we lied. There are times in life when you just have to move on, and this seemed like one of them, so once I assured myself there was nothing we could do to correct errors in our web sites, I said "thanks for the feedback" and hung up.