Dealing with the occasional negative review is a reality of running any size business. Remember, the feedback you’re receiving from clients (good or bad) is providing you valuable information to improve and grow your business. That said, here’s five things to keep in mind when responding to any review.
- Stay cool, take a breath and compose yourself before responding. Remember Amy’s Baking Company of Kitchen Nightmares fame? Featured on Gordon Ramsay’s show, Amy’s made for great television and the owners conflict with reviewers is now legendary. While this level of denial and anger is unique, it serves as a reminder to always respond in a positive manner. Remember, you’re not going to win a public standoff with a customer.
- You don’t have to respond to everyone. Don’t fuel the fire by responding to a troll. Nothing engages a troll faster than having someone to spar with. While you can sometimes submit the review to the review site for removal, many times the review will stand. Don’t take the bait!
- Keep it brief and succinct. Let the reviewer know that you understand and want to help. If the customer would like to have an extended conversation invite them offline for a call.
- Look at if from the customer’s perspective. Typically we can learn something from every review, good or bad. Take the time to put yourself in the client’s shoes and see the issue from their perspective. It’s easier to communicate with someone who feels understood and it keeps the conversation grounded and constructive.
- Remember: Every time you respond to a review it’s an opportunity to speak to a potential client. Respond with good things about your business (strengths and virtues) and reframe the problem. Let the troubled reviewer know you understand their concern and how you’re going to correct the problem. Your potential clients are watching, so take the opportunity to make it a win for your business and your client!