Whether you have been in business for decades or are just starting out with building a name in your local community, there’s one thing that every company is bound to experience—a negative customer review!
Negative reviews can cause panic and frustration for business owners that are worried about how the customer’s words will affect their reputation with future clients, and there is no question that there is a right and a wrong way to handle a bad review.
While you may (or may not) be responsible for the customer’s negative experience, you still need to make it a priority to respond quickly, positively, and compassionately to mitigate the damage that a review can do to your company, and we’ve put together five simple steps for handling even the most challenging customers:
1. Don’t React—Respond!
It is easy to get defensive if you are reading a poor review from a past customer, and this is even truer if you are struggling to understand exactly where that customer is coming from. However, the trick to managing this challenging situation is to respond to the customer with consideration and respect—not with an argumentative reaction. Remember, your words will be laid out on your website for all of your followers to view, so you want to be aware of how your response sounds before clicking the “post” button.
2. Move Fast with Damage Control
While it may be tempting to ignore the negative review in the hopes that other customers don’t notice, that is never a wise idea. You need to respond to the review as soon as possible, both for the customer’s sake and for the sake of your reputation! Timely responses show that you take the customer’s concerns seriously and that you are making every effort to ensure that the wrongs they experienced are corrected.
3. Offer to Speak by Phone
You don’t want to get into a long, drawn-out debate with an unhappy customer on your social media profile or website, so offer to take the conversation to a more personal level. After acknowledging the customer’s concerns and offering a sincere apology for their experience, ask if they would be willing to discuss the matter further with a phone call. This gets the attention off of the negative review on your site, and it gives you a more effective platform for communication so the issue can be resolved.
4. Once You Offer—Follow Through!
With any luck, the customer will be willing to have you reach out to them by phone, but it will only make matters worse if you fail to make the call or put it off for several days. Once the door is open, walk through, and prepare yourself to deal with a person who will likely be emotional, angry, and defensive. Regardless of whether the customer is friendly or angry during the phone call, keep a level head and redirect the conversation back towards a satisfactory resolution.
In the best-case scenario where the customer is pleased with your response, you could also suggest that they write a new review or post an update on their negative review stating that the situation was handled.
5. Counter a Bad Review with Positivity
You should never go through and attempt to delete all comments and reviews that don’t paint your company in the most positive light, but you can still take steps to make the negative review less noticeable!
Receiving your first bad review can be a shocker, but it isn’t a situation that is going to doom your business—as long as you know how to respond! With a timely, friendly, and respectful approach to communicating with unhappy customers, you can work to minimize the damage and show future clients how responsive and caring your company actually is.
At LivingSpace Sunrooms, we are a leader in providing top-of-the-line products and installations for customers across the country, and we know how important your reputation is within the industry! To learn more about how we can help you build trust with your customers and handle even the most challenging situations, we invite you to get in touch with our team. Request a callback today, and we’ll fill you in on the details of our exclusive line of products and innovative business model.