No one likes getting negative feedback, but, unfortunately sometimes problems occur – no matter what the issue or who your company is; someone, somewhere will have experienced a problem with your service at some point. It’s how you react that is important; Dealing with a negative review poorly can be much, much more damaging to your company than actually receiving it…
- Launch into a tirade against the reviewer (‘this customer was a nightmare/ didn’t read the small print/ is a nasty piece of work’ are some of the responses we receive!) How do you think this makes your company look to potential new customers?
- Use your response as an opportunity to blame everyone else for the problem.
- Deny there was a problem or try to discredit the reviewer.
- Demand that the review is removed as this may only serve to further aggravate the reviewer and if they are a genuine customer their feedback is valid.
- Believe that only a string of 5 star reviews is useful to you as a business.
- Refuse to be drawn into any form of discussion. At the very least a response containing an apology, your contact details and an offer to privately discuss their views reflects well on your business.
- Underestimate the value of consumer reviews; whether positive or negative, they can be a vital tool for improving your business and should be treated as such.
- Give the readers some credit… they are able to differentiate between senseless rants, gushing praise and well thought out, constructive reviews containing valid information.
- Take the high road and be professional at all times.
- Put yourself in the place of the reader when constructing your response. Your potential new customer.
- Apologise – regardless of whose fault the problem was. Even if you know that the customer was a ‘nightmare’, remember the old adage, the customer is always right.
- Show that you are listening to the feedback being offered.
- Show potential new customers that you deal with any problem in a professional and helpful manner, no matter whose fault it is.
- Use your right-to-reply to make a great example of your customer service and leave everyone who reads that review with a lasting good impression of your company, therefore turning a negative into a positive.
- Remember that the reader of this review is smart. If handled well the lasting impression on them is likely to be “wow, what fantastic customer service – I can be safe in the knowledge that if something does go wrong with my purchase, this company are quick to help” as opposed to “that reviewer had some really constructive feedback, but the company is refusing to accept any responsibility and treating the reviewer like an idiot, what terrible customer service”.
- Appreciate the greater value potential customers find in a problem handled well, as opposed to a problem denied.
One negative review, dealt with in a professional manner can be worth much more than a string of glowing reviews – which can feel slightly unrealistic and doesn’t show potential new customers how problems are dealt with when they come up… which they will, whether due to technical issues, contractor issues or just plain old human error.
If you have any questions about responding to reviews or managing your online reputation, please get in touch.