According to research, most people leave negative reviews to inform future potential customers about a business – not to lash out or get the final word. They want a response, and want it in a public space in order to show future customers what you’re made of.
How you respond to an unhappy customer shows your company’s values, both to the customer, and all future potential customers. Seeing a company handle a tricky complaint, or offer a reasonable solution suggests that the management is proud of their business, and want to go the extra mile to provide good service.
If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry – A simple apology and empathy with a customer’s experience can go a long way.
There are 4 things to keep in mind when responding to a negative review.
Empathize | Solve Simple Issues | Keep It Short | Stay Private
The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging that it happened, and showing that you understand their point of view.
Regardless of why they’re upset, the first step is to show you understand their problem, sympathize, and avoid being angry or defensive.
Learning you made a mistake and owning up to it, apologizing, promising to learn from it and improve future experiences can show professionalism and an earnest desire to grow.
Solve Simple Issues
Is the solution to their problem incredibly obvious?
If someone complains about store hours, and you know the day they’re referring to was a holiday, gently remind them where to find your store hours during holidays.
If their problem can be simply, directly, and politely resolved, it’s smart to get that taken care of.
If their problem can’t be fixed, sometimes it’s best to just apologize and move on.
Keep It Short
Don’t ask questions in response to negative reviews. Don’t argue that they’re wrong.
Ideally, you should only ever give 1 comment to a negative review. If it’s not that simple, bring the conversation offline.
If you think their complaint can’t be solved, or their expectations are too unreal, stick to the apology and invite them to contact you through phone or email for further assistance.
When a customer is especially angry, or has a complex or sensitive problem, speaking to them offline is a good move.
Let them know you want to help resolve their problem, and offer a point of contact for them to reach out to you privately, via phone or email. You don’t want to air dirty laundry, and openly arguing about a legitimate complaint or mistake doesn’t look good.
Keep your business’s name and location out of this! You don’t want a search engine like Google showing people all your negative reviews to a new customer who is researching your company.
There’s also software you can use that pulls all your reviews from across the internet into one spot, so you can respond to them quickly and easily. If you don’t have the time to handle your reviews, or don’t know how, you can also ask us for help!
Dealers Digital’s Social Media Management package offers review management as an essential aspect of keeping your public image a positive one.