How to Handle a Bad Review
As your business grows and your client base expands, someone somewhere will inevitably take issue with your company. No business, no matter how committed to customer service they may be, is immune to bad reviews. Your reputation management strategy and social media marketing plan needs to include a procedure for handling these negative testimonies as they will influence the opinions of potential clients. Minimize loss of future business and gain back credibility by following these good practices:
Respond in a Timely Fashion
A bad review with no response is evidence that customer care is a low priority – a huge red flag for consumers. This is an important reason to keep up with business citations; you can’t respond to a bad review if you’re not aware it exists. The faster you respond to an unhappy customer, the faster you can redirect consumer focus towards the positive aspects of your business.
Acknowledge a Mistake Publicly
Companies make mistakes, just like people. It happens. By taking responsibility publicly for something that was the fault of you or your team, you’ve humanized your company. This is a great way to make a connection between your business and future customers.
Write for the Audience
Remember, how you respond to a negative review has a big impact on the many potential patrons who are reading it. Be aware of the impression the general populace will receive when addressing the dissatisfied reviewer. Use your response as a tool to display your professionalism and genuine commitment to great customer service- but don’t get too “sales-y.” As Google My Business Help suggests, you need to connect on a human level to a reviewer reaching out. Being authentic in your response will help you in the long run.
Be the “Bigger Person”
It comes across as childish when a business plays the he-said/she-said game with consumers. Maybe the issue was simply a misunderstanding or was even the customer’s fault. Getting into an argument over who’s to blame will only serve to hurt your reputation. Readers are much more likely to side with the customer over a business. That being said, there’s no need to let an irrational customer bully you. In any case, as Yelp! points out, the best responses acknowledge dissatisfaction while remaining polite and professional.
Fix the Problem
Make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes. Two negative reviews involving the same problem is too many. By taking the necessary steps to resolve the issue, you’re improving the experience for other customers and communicating to your patrons that their opinion is valued. This is one of the most effective ways to build brand loyalty and enhance your business reputation.
A bad review can be helpful. Think of it as an opportunity to publicly prove that you value your customers. An upset customer may illuminate a flaw in your business that is unknowingly driving away clients, such as poor responsive web design. The most important thing to do when you receive a bad review is to stay calm. Most consumers won’t discount a business for one bad mention. If you’re truly committed to your customers, you will organically build a strong reputation and secure your business’s future.