So you had a bad experience at a nail salon; a chipped nail or perhaps a minor infection. You are certainly not okay with it, having had to spend your precious money on it. What to do now?
An easy way out of it would be to call the salon and tell the problem. You can also drop in a mail telling your issue demanding either a refund or re-servicing of your nails. Another method is to review the salon online critically, describing your experience with a caution to the future customers. While the third one i.e. online reviews might be the most-sought choice in the age of social media and digitisation, there are certain ethical implications that you have to take into account before clicking the submit button in Yelp with a venting out of your frustration.
Online reviews are read by thousands of people. With the advent of Yelp, Facebook and Google Reviews, what you say about a nail salon online will be spread far and wide, influencing future customers. Yes, it is true that we will search for the reviews on a place before giving it a try. Reviews are our only source of information about a business that does not come from the business itself. And yes, we have a tendency to trust more at what the previous customers say than what the nail salon marketing team. In that case, a bad review means that the customer might completely take off that salon out of their potential list, removing a huge chunk of business for that salon.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t review businesses online. Rather, what I want to convey is that before reviewing it badly and posting a bad message across the internet about a salon or its technicians, you have to give them a second chance. Nail technicians are humans too, and sometimes like all of us, they can err as well. Sometimes the technicians can be trainees who are new to the practice. In such cases, mistakes happen. However, penalising the entire salon for one error is a draconian measure. Many livelihoods depend on a business establishment and for the same reason, we have to think twice before we embark on such a decision. Bad nail salon reviews in Yelp and other experience-sharing websites have brought down the revenues of many salons considerably. More often than not, a small error in the hands of a technician or a slight damage to the nails is what triggers such a downfall.
Now, as to the conundrum mentioned in the beginning, what is the justifiable plan of action to get you a fair verdict for the damage caused by a nail salon? Inform them. Talk to them regarding it seriously. Nail salon businesses rarely ignore a customer who has been hurt by them. Customer service is, in fact, one of the most important domains in nail salon marketing. There is very little chance that your concerns will be ignored. And if that happens, you could resort to other methods such as reviewing them online or sharing your experience with your friends and family.
Now, for the customers who depend on reviews for an idea about a business online, remember the paradox of internet itself. Not everything said there needs to be true! Read multiple reviews, research among your kin and kith, and also search for newspaper reviews by experienced nail care critics. This way, you will not fall into the mistake of falling prey to wrong or biased information. Practising such minor ethics in life will ensure that all’s fair for everyone in the world.