Are you fearful of getting a bad review online about your business? Maybe you already have a few and you don’t know how to respond. The truth is that no matter how awesome your business is, you’re going to get a few bad ones here and there. It’s bound to happen.
Below I’m going to outline some steps you can take to respond and deal with negative reviews. It’s important that you respond because potential customers want to see that you care about your business. Think about how you would perceive a company responding to a bad review. As long as it’s a professional response you would respect them for caring.
Immediate Steps to Take
1. Take a deep breath and cool off. You’re probably not going to be happy about what your customer is saying. The absolute worst thing you could do (even more damaging than the negative review) is going off on the the customer and exploding in a response. It hurts when customers don’t like something about your business but it’s important feedback to make your business better.
2. Look into the issue. If it’s a legitimate complaint then fix that problem. A negative review is valuable feedback and can point out issues with your business. Maybe your front desk employee has an attitude, or your waiting room is too cold.
3. Don’t take too long to respond! How terrible does it look if you respond a month later? Horrible. Be prompt and try to respond within a couple of days. Follow the steps below to craft your response.
Preparing your Response
1. You want to keep it short and polite. No one wants to read long, wordy responses. Customers browsing the site will blow right past it because it’s too long or will skim it at least missing valuable points. And make sure you are polite with your response and don’t talk down to the reviewer. Put yourself in their shoes.
2. If possible fix the problem and tell your customer that you’re going to take care of his issue and that they should contact you personally. This also looks really good to potential customers. Your competition is probably not doing this so it’s going to make you look that much better. You don’t have to go into detail about fixing the issue in your response but let them know you’ll be either contacting the reviewer or they should contact you.
3. Before posting it have someone else look it over. How many times have you sent an email and wish there was an unsend button! Don’t do the same with your response. Have a friend or family member look over the response. I recommend someone outside the organization because someone inside the organization might have a different view about it rather than an outsider.
4. Send it in a timely manner. I know I mentioned this above but it’s crucial. If you’re going to respond a month later then it’s probably not worth it to even respond. Two weeks max should be your limit to responding but I would shoot for a few days to a week.
2 Ways to Manage and Prevent Negative Reviews
1. Prevent them by putting a system in place to prevent 1-3 star reviews from ever happening. Talking to your customers after their visit is a good option and you can gauge whether they are happy or not. Or have them fill out a simple index card at your business giving you feedback. Our Review Marketing System helps you weed out any negative feedback and is automated.
2. Monitor your reviews online. You can do this by creating a list of your profiles and check them daily. List your Google+, Yelp and other profiles into a spreadsheet and check to see if you have new reviews. Our system has a review monitoring function in place that will alert you when you get a new review online. We send you an email to your inbox.
Your online reputation matters! One star rating can increase revenue by 5-9% according to a Harvard Business School Study so make sure to take charge of your reputation today!