Negative Business Reviews Happen, and That’s OK.
Dissatisfied customers venting online is an unfortunate but foreseeable part of doing business and having a web presence. You’re not going to be able to make every customer happy, some people are going to have a bad experience and leave a scathing review. As a business owner, it’s hard to forget that this is not a reflection of you personally, but a review of their experience with your business. How you handle the poor reviews will reflect either positively or negatively on your business.
Users are more and more likely to choose a business based on their reviews. Sure, those businesses with just sparkling 4-5 Star reviews look great in principle, but the fact is users are becoming more apt to look for those who may have a few negative reviews and see how the business handles their response to those reviews.
Here are the 3 things to do when you need to respond to a negative review. It’s simple:
- Don’t immediately respond to the review, take time (days) to gather your thoughts.
- Approach how you write your response from an objective perspective.
- Define the audience for your response as anyone who reads this negative review.
Remember that 100% of people who read a negative review will also read the owner’s response!
Ask yourself these questions: What caused the customer to have this experience? How can we change our operations to ensure this doesn’t happen again? What can we do to rectify this and hopefully save a customer? Reply to the customer within a couple of days, empathize with their experience, and ask them to contact you so that you can make things right. You don’t need to go into more detail than that. Just keep it short and sweet. If nothing else comes from it, you have addressed the concern of potential customers who will appreciate how the situation was handled.
Once you’ve done that, there are other steps you can take to manage your online reputation. As stated, bad reviews will happen, but a constant trickle of good reviews will always outweigh the few bad ones. Being sure to continually ask customers for reviews ensures that you stay one step ahead of negative reviews and, as a bonus, boosts your Google ranking as the reviews come in.