How to Handle Negative Reviews
We’ve all been there. There’s no way around it but every business is bound to get a negative review one way or another. The key to handling negative reviews is to address them head on! We do not recommend you try to bury it by spamming clients to post positive reviews, but instead, take critical steps to remedy the negative review and learn from the experience. Our key steps are outlined below.
- Respond Promptly. Time is of the essence here.
- Admit mistakes and sympathize with your customer. It is important to take responsibility for any mistakes and errors and let the customer know that you feel badly. Admitting mistakes shows strength.
- Correct or acknowledge any inaccuracies in their account. We often recommend you have a third party audit this aspect so that this does not turn into a ‘he said she said’ situation but a fair unbiased acknowledgement.
- Highlight your businesses strengths and core mission. You want to reiterate to your unhappy customer (as well as signal to future customers) the goal you were hoping to achieve with the transaction in question
- Write your response personally. Now is not the time to copy and paste a generic apology to your unhappy customer. Take the time to address the customer personally and write like a human being, not a corporation.
- Take the conversation offline. Instead of engaging in a possible review war- you want to respond and take the conversation offline. Offer to contact the unhappy customer or give a phone number and email where they can reach you. Its important you do not engage in lengthy dialogues on the review feed, this helps no one.
- Provide restitution when necessary. If your employee did make a mistake or there was a fault of yours, alway always offer restitution. While it may not fix the situation, it shows that you are offering an olive branch and will not charge for unsatisfactory services.
- Encourage loyal customers to share their experiences. While we do not recommend trying to bury a review or display only positive reviews on your feed, we do know many reviewers only go online to leave negative reviews instead of positive ones. The research even suggests that 100% of customers who make $150,000 annually claim to leave reviews more often when it comes to poor customer service experiences. This indicates a need for you and your business to request reviews from happy customers and be proactive in review management, not reactive.