Time to cover a topic no one wants to have to deal with… negative reviews. DUN DUN DUUUUN! The ideal situation is all reviews would be glowing and preaching about how amazing you are. Reality is, we’re human, we make mistakes and there is bound to be a margin of error.
Here are some tips to quickly and effectively handle a negative review
1. Assess and Walk Away
Customers have a lot of power online. A negative response to a negative review will only lose you customers. Read through the review, see if there is room for improvement on your end and wait until the next day to respond, you do not want to write a response out of emotion. Don’t wait too long though. Try and respond within 24 hrs, or else you lose your opportunity to regain the trust of the unsatisfied customer. Before replying, have a logical and thoughtful response ready to go.
👆 PIN IT
2. Respond Publicly to the Review
Since the negative feedback was left on a public forum, it should be addressed on the same public forum. Responding privately can be done secondly, after you have initially reached out publicly. This shows potential customers that you care and take initiative to correct negative experiences. If you hide your response, future customers cannot see that you have addressed the problem, and very well could have changed the negative review into a positive outcome!
3. Own Up to Mistakes
A lot can be said for a company or brand that takes ownership of flaws. We know we are not perfect, but we strive to do the best we can. Sometimes we nail it, but not always 100% of the time. Take ownership of any mistakes and learn from them!
4. Incentives are Always Nice
Not every negative review warrants an incentive. But sometimes people leave bad reviews because they were just in a bad mood. Providing a reason for them to come back, perhaps when they are in a better mood could turn that frown upside down! This could be hard to navigate, but a good rule of thumb is – if the person is constantly leaving bad reviews wherever they go, or doesn’t spend a lot of money with your establishment, then it’s probably not a good fit for an incentive, as you don’t want to lose money. However, if this is a one-time thing for them, and the negative feedback seems vague, that could be an opportunity to change their experience with a nice gift!
Following up with a negative review can save your company many potential customers. Studies show that 79% of customers trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations. You don’t want to lose out on 79% of your potential sales because of one bad experience.
Whether it’s positive or negative reviews, engaging with your customers will pay off for your Google ratings and customer loyalty!
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