Kindra K, Marketing CoordinatorOct 18, 2016 @ 6:41PM
We’ve all experienced it. An unhappy customer takes to the internet to blast your company and it suddenly becomes the most glaring thing on the review site. You’re angry, a little hurt, possibly confused as to why this person would say such things. But it happened, it’s out there, and now you have to deal with it. So what steps should you be taking to deal with these negative reviews? Here’s our advice on how to successfully handle them and move forward.
Take a Step Back
The first thing you need to do is take a step back from the situation. Put your emotions aside and evaluate the review to determine if it was warranted. Did you show up late? Were you unprepared? Did the job take longer than you had told the customer it would? Sometimes we make mistakes, and the unhappy customer takes to the internet. It’s important to determine the underlying factor that caused this customer to take the time to write a negative review in order to determine how to best move forward.
Once you’ve put your emotions aside, respond to the review publicly. Don’t get defensive, even if you think the review was undeserved. Address the customer's concerns in a calm, respectful, and apologetic manner.
Even if you feel that they don’t deserve an apology for your actions, you can at least apologize for causing them to feel a certain way. Make sure you are empathetic to their concerns and genuine in your apology in order to convey that whatever happened was not typical of your business. You can even take the opportunity to highlight some of your company’s strengths in your response. The most important thing is to make sure the customer feels that their concerns have been heard.
After you have responded to the review in a public way, reach out to the individual reviewer to personally respond. Make sure you are still staying calm and sincere. Oftentimes a reviewer just wants to be sure their concerns are being acknowledged. Assure them that you have heard their feedback and are taking it seriously. Apologize again if necessary, and take steps to rectify the situation. Perhaps you want to offer them some sort of discount or even a free service for their next appointment. The steps you take will differ depending on the situation, but you should always strive to determine the appropriate action to turn them into a satisfied customer.
Find the Positive
Maybe the review pointed out a flaw in your company, or alerted you to one of your techs doing something you don’t approve of. No matter what, you can learn something from the review, whether it be how customers react to certain things or just gaining insight into how you can change your business for the better. If multiple bad reviews mention the same thing, you know it’s a problem in your company that needs to be addressed. Share the reviews with your techs so they have a better understanding of your customers. Although it may seem to have a negative effect on your business, reviews can actually be incredibly valuable by helping you to continue improving.
Encourage More Reviews
Building up the number of positive reviews you have on a website will help those negative ones not stand out quite so much. Getting more reviews is as simple as asking! One of the easiest ways to do this is to include a link to a review site in a follow-up email after a job. That way all the customer has to do is click and type! Make things as easy as possible for the customer and your number of reviews will soar. If you need help getting started on gaining more reviews, check out these tips from Forbes!
Bad reviews happen. You can’t dwell on them or they’ll be a distraction from your real work. Once you’ve dealt with it properly, move on. A few bad reviews can even be a good thing for your business. If you were to see a business with only 5 star reviews, you might wonder whether or not those reviews are all real. Getting a few negative ones here and there can actually help the legitimacy of your business!
While getting negative reviews may not sound like your idea of fun, use them to your advantage and take the opportunity to make positive changes in your business. Do great work and the positive reviews will start flowing in! Deal with those negative reviews, learn from them, and make your business great again.