Even with businesses delivering the best service, bad days can happen at any time. Such days may result in a bad review or two. As a business owner, you are always prepared for such an eventuality. A disgruntled customer posts something negative on one of the major review sites. It can be painful for you to deal with.
But when you look at a negative review as more than a calamity, you start to dread them less. We have gathered some tips from experts that tell you exactly how to deal with a negative review lambasting your brand.
Your negative review can be turned into an opportunity
So your business screwed up one time. It happens. A customer complained about it on social media. Again, your brand will survive it if you use it as an opportunity. Recovering well from the mistake may not just win you back that customer, but bring in other new ones too!
Create a service recovery paradox and improve your relationship with the unsatisfied customer. Handle it, so you increase customer satisfaction to levels higher than if the mistake had never happened. Good customer service is more about eliminating mistakes — which is impossible to do anyway. Capable Reputation Management Companies can help you recover and come back even stronger!
Experts recommend that you begin with:
A quick response
With the internet connecting consumers with brands they use, it isn’t unfair for them to expect a rapid reply. When a customer complains about less-than-ideal service, most of them expect the business will respond to them within an hour or less.
So, as soon as you are alerted to their initial complaint, don’t be lazy or they will feel ignored. Your response shouldn’t just be swift; it also needs to be public. HBR reported that hotels that responded on TripAdvisor had higher ratings and received 12% more reviews than those that didn’t. The rating increased by 0.12 stars initially and then by half a star within six months!
Now that you know it is important to respond to a negative review let’s talk…
How to Respond
Some ORM experts recommend that business owners should use a personal offline approach for the initial response. There are advantages of responding privately via direct message on the review site, phone call, or email. For instance, you won’t have a huge audience watching the interaction.
On the other hand, his approach has some cons as well. A phone call has the potential of turning into a shouting match when the customer is at their angriest. So, be prepared to be yelled at.
Public responses allow you to use your customer service skills to impress potential customers. You can use the conversation to build your online reputation. But you might be interacting with a bully of a customer or a troll. In that case, it is best to let them have the last word.
Once the initial response is sent out, you can have the remainder of the conversation privately. That is what we’d recommend you do.
What your initial response should be
The way you begin a conversation with a customer who has left you a negative review should be a game changer. It is best to keep your response short but functional – so three to four sentences will do.
Sure, each negative review won’t even be completely fair to you or your business. But don’t get defensive and try to prove the customer wrong. If you start with a long-winded response, to other readers – and the customer – you will be legitimizing the complaint. Keep in mind that this interaction will stay up there for good. Your potential customers will also see how you responded. Therefore, keep the response short and effective.
Details can make you sound defensive. Asking follow-up questions isn’t a good idea either because they might incite the customer even more.
Final resolution should be private
When a customer raises an issue, it is better to discuss it privately. So, once you have responded to their initial comment or negative review, take it out of the public eye. If the review ended on Yelp, you would have the option to connect to your customer via email. Other review sites allow you to send direct or private messages. Comment that you are doing something about it on your business page and then go talk to your client.
In both cases, once you have resolved the issue, request the customer in question to leave their final opinion online. This will allow your future readers to see how your business handles problems and resolves customer complaints. Ask the customer if they would change their review in a way that reflects the new conclusion.
Finally, remember that if you are getting more than a few negative reviews, you can’t let them represent your business. They may also be indicating that there is room for improvement!
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.