July 7, 2013
Bad Reviews? Don't take offense. Take it as an opportunity to further enhance your business.
Unfortunately, we can't please everyone all of the time. In the digital age, we may occasionally have an unhappy customer who will take to the Internet to express their dissatisfaction. While it's reasonable to assume most customers would privately bring an issue to management's attention first, this may not always be the case so we must prepare accordingly.
How to Respond to a Negative Review
If you receive a negative review online, it's not a good idea to react with anger, threats, or defensiveness. Before you find yourself in a situation where you might resort to reacting emotionally, plan in advance for an appropriate response should such an issue arise.
It's important to respond in a timely fashion, so the first thing you want to do is ensure that you know if and when there are any mentions of your business online. Set your preferences on Social Media accounts to alert you (by email or text) if someone sends a message or publishes to your page. Additionally, you'll want to set up Google Alerts under your company name. That way, an email will be sent to you whenever there are new results anywhere online for your search term(s).
Customer reviews can be very influential in consumer buying decisions. You might think having 100% positive reviews would be a plus. However, it's not totally believable that any business would never have an unhappy customer. What makes all the difference is how you handle a complaint. Here's your opportunity to show that you care about your customers and that you will make efforts to remedy any problem. That's how you build trust and open the doors for new customers to feel comfortable about doing business with you.
Establishing a Strategy
You'll need to strategize prior to crafting a response to a negative review. The following are tips to consider while doing so.
- Express your concern about the problem and make it clear that you will make efforts to fix it.
- Offer your personal e-mail or phone number to work through the details of a situation. It may be better not to discuss a specific complaint in a public forum.
- Emphasize that you understand the reason behind the customer's dissatisfaction
- Admit mistakes
- Issue refunds. Consider dedicating a portion of your annual budget to cover these costs.
- Express thanks for bringing the issue to your attention.
- Assure customers that efforts have been taken to avoid a similar situation from happening again.
Properly handling negative statements made online will earn your business respect, differentiating your business from competitors. Keep in mind that it's better to know that your product or service may need improvement than to be unaware of problems.
In many instances, after a successful resolution of an issue, your previously unhappy customer can become your biggest fan. Ask them if they will consider updating or recanting their public comments or review. In fact, it's not a bad idea to ask customers for their opinions on a regular basis. Encourage positive reviews by asking satisfied customers to post positive comments about your business online.
Brave River's digital marketing specialists are equipped to help you manage your online reputation, whether it be on social media or various other mediums. We seek to improve your company's online reputation and help you continue to succeed. Give us a call today at 401-828-6611 or feel free to fill out the on-page contact form.