As a business, one of the most valuable marketing tools you have is your online image. It’s important that you build a collection of online reviews to serve as social proof that you’re up to par. However, even the most successful businesses generate poor reviews from time to time. Although you can’t avoid customer complaints coming up, you can control the way that you react to them. Handling customer reviews is an important part of keeping up appearances, so take a look at some of the best tips for how to respond and handle negative online feedback.
Identify The Problem
The first step is to identify why the person is leaving a negative review about. Perhaps they didn’t appreciate that you’re a cash-only store yet you don’t have an ATM machine. Perhaps they felt that one of your staff members was rude. Whatever the reason, you should make sure that yo
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u get to the heart of the problem. That way, you can address the issue accordingly, and offer a solution.
Answer Right Away
It’s important that you keep a close eye on your incoming reviews so that you can answer quickly. You don’t want to let a negative review sit there and gather dust. If other potential customers land on the review site and see that you have unanswered negative comments, it may be seen as indifference. You want to show your clients that you care about what they think and that you’re willing to rectify any issues that come up. Therefore, responding to reviews as quickly as possible is a must.
Answer With a Positive Attitude
It’s easy to get offended when someone starts speaking negatively about your business. However, it’s important that you don’t take the bait. Stay as positive and thoughtful as possible or you could come across as unprofessional. See every piece of feedback as an opportunity for personal growth. Thank your customer for their feedback, apologize for the inconvenience, and honestly provide an explanation for what happened. Above all, make sure that you take the time to address their concerns. If you seem dismissive at all, you’ll only escalate the problem even more.
Don’t Use Automatic Replies
A lot of businesses make the mistake of using a canned automatic response for any customer issues. For example, apologizing and encouraging someone to contact you by a direct message is not going to be taken well. This comes across as trying to sweep the problem under the rug and out of the public eye. Address the situation publicly with a customized and thoughtful response that makes your clients feel heard and acknowledged.
No business is perfect, so it’s only natural that you’ll get a bad review from time to time. The most important thing is handling it appropriately, and remaining humble. Above all, make sure that you answer all of your reviews, not just the bad ones. When you get a good one, thank them for the compliment!