To err is human. It’s inevitable that you will have negative reviews from dissatisfied customers. You can’t be perfect 100% of the time, but if you aren’t responding to negative reviews, you’re missing an opportunity to win back an unhappy customer! Here are five steps you can take to take the pain out of bad reviews.
1. Respond Quickly
Don’t take weeks to respond to your reviews. According to WebPunch, “33% of online reviewers just want some sort of resolution.” Your customers want to feel important and your response is a good way to do that. We recommend responding to all reviews, good or bad, within 24 to 48 hours! Check your review sites daily and set up a Google Alert to notify you when your business name is mentioned online.
2. Say Sorry
This may be the hardest part of responding to negative reviews, but it is also the most important. Your business is your pride and joy and negative feedback can sting, but it’s best to bite the bullet by saying “We are Sorry” and tackling the problem. Apologizing and admitting to mistakes adds to the authenticity and benefits your reputation!
3. Be Genuine
This is your chance to sympathize and speak from the heart. “Customers want to know it’s an actual human responding to them — not a bot or IFTTT mechanism,” says CPC Strategy. Robotic responses stick out like a sore thumb; especially to the potential customer reading the response! Be transparent, open, and understanding to show the reviewer you took the time to absorb their comments and care about their feedback.
4. Provide Direct Contact Information
Taking the conversation offline by offering to directly engage a dissatisfied customer is critical to addressing serious issues that surface in reviews. This doesn’t need to be your personal cell phone number, but consider dedicating a line that you can use to speak directly with customers is a great idea. Providing a phone number will show customers that you are serious about making things right!
5. Do Not Vent
Last but not least . . . PLEASE don’t vent. “Resist the temptation to pick an argument or try to explain that things didn’t really happen the way the reviewer says, because it’s not going to win you any points,” cautions Sprout Social. With reviews, the customer IS always right – even if they are wrong. Stay positive in the face of negativity. It’s all about bettering your business in the end!