Love it or loathe it, reviews and comments from customers and clients are everywhere in the online world. Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Check-A-Trade… whether your business is selling asbestos or yurts, the public are ready to tell everyone what they think, especially if it’s to have a good moan!
It’s common knowledge people are more likely to leave a bad review as opposed to a positive one. It allows them to vent at the business owner behind the safety of their screen. Venting their anger makes them feel better for getting it off their chest as they slam the ‘enter’ button to submit their disappointed words and await your reply. And EVERY business has had them.
So how you deal with negativity so your business STILL comes out shining?
You can turn reviews off certain platforms such as Facebook but this can lead to skepticism from a potential customer. If you were a credible company why have them turned off? What do they not want us to know?! Instead of turning reviews off altogether, be armed with a calm way to deal with the negativity.
Also, imagine all the glowing reviews and comments you’re potentially missing out on, comments that could lead to future customers!
Our advice is firstly to acknowledge the review with a response such as “Thanks for taking the time to tell us your thoughts. We’re disappointed that you weren’t happy with the service you received as this is not the standard we set for ourselves. Please send us a direct message or an email with the details so we can look into this further for you and to avoid a repeat for customers in the future.”
You’re acknowledging they’re unhappy, which is important to do, mostly for other customers reading so they know you don’t simply ignore complaints!
Secondly, you making it clear that this isn’t normal and you want future customers to know that you expect more from your business. And that you want happy customers!
Take if offline as quickly as possible – ask them to send a direct message or email with all the finer details. This way you can have a two-way dialogue about the specific incident and it’s your opportunity to investigate what went wrong. More often than not as this conversation continues you will be able to appease the reviewer and come to an agreement.
End on a positive, in this case we’re referring to the fact that we care about our customers feeling unhappy and we certainly don’t want it happen again.
It’s tempting to ignore comments but avoid this where possible as it can appear to potential customers that you stick your head in the sand and don’t deal with customer complaints accordingly.