It’s bound to happen: you do everything you can to provide the best customer service experience possible, but one slip up and a disgruntled client finds their revenge via the keyboard and the likes of Yelp, Google, and CitySearch. Bad reviews are inevitable, so it’s imperative that you have a strategy in place that will indicate to your client base you take their satisfaction seriously.
The easiest way to do this is read the major review sites daily, and if there is a bad review about your business, address it immediately and directly. This will help your company garner a reputation of trust and respect. Plus, a direct response is really appreciated by your customers.
Here are three things you can do to handle a bad review:
1. Empathize with the customer. Demonstrate that you completely understand why they are dissatisfied. You don’t have to agree – that isn’t the point here. The point is to bring yourself to their level and understand what caused their frustration.
2. Issue a refund or discount for future use. Often times when a refund is issued, that same customer will come back and write a second, more positive review. You should work this into your operations budget and consider it part of running a business in a competitive market.
3. Learn! Reviews provide “real time” feedback to the nature of your business and what kind of impact you are making in the local community. Learn from the reviews, and use them to help shape your business into a powerhouse of services designed to fit the needs of your customer base.
Online reviews are becoming one of the most powerful word-of-mouth marketing tactics for business owners today. Personally, I always check Yelp before I go anywhere new, and the reviews make or break my decision. If your business is quick to respond to negative posts, it shows the community that you take your services seriously and value the opinion of your customers. This will help cultivate respect for your business and, ultimately, more sales.
What is your current strategy for handling negative feedback?