How To Respond To a Negative Online Review
If you’ve been in business long enough, you’re going to have some people who are not exactly thrilled with your services. So today I want to talk about how to handle it when you do get a negative online review.
1. Take a deep breath.
First of all, as the business owner, step back and take a deep breath! Don’t respond right away, at that moment. We business owners are passionate about wanting to make sure that our customers, our clients, are happy, and when we don’t meet that mark we tend to get defensive. Don’t respond to a negative review while your emotions are running high. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and give yourself some time, first.
In fact, I recommend showing the review to a third party. I help my clients go over negative reviews to help them see how best to respond. I’m vested in my clients, of course, but I’m never going to be as passionate about the business as the business owner. This means I’m able to step back and see the review more objectively. Because I’m not as emotionally engaged in the review I’m able to help them formulate a calm, objective response. So always bounce it off a third party (a close friend, your marketing person, etc.) to get a more objective take on both the review and the response you plan to make to the review.
2. Always respond.
Make sure you do respond! Many times negative reviews are a cry to the business to make things right. If you don’t respond, you’re telling the client that their problem doesn’t matter to you. But when you respond keep in mind that it’s not all about making that person happy. It’s about the hundreds or thousands of people who may see that review and your response. You want people to see that not only do you have a lot of great reviews, but when you do fall short of the mark you are responsive and big enough to come back and make the situation right. Sometimes this can do much more good for your business than even a lot of five-star reviews. You should definitely respond to every negative review you get! (Although hopefully there aren’t many!)
3. Follow up offline.
We recommend responding online and including a request that the customer call you (and leave your number) so that you can make things right with them. However you do it, definitely contact them offline to see what you can do to make the situation right. Whether you’re right or wrong, that’s not the issue; the issue is making sure your customer feels that they are heard and their problem is taken care of. Often they’ll go back and change their review based on your response here, and how you fixed their problem.
Negative reviews are unfortunate and we don’t like to see them, but they’re the nature of business. But it’s how you respond to negative reviews that can turn the situation around, can change an unhappy customer back into a happy customer and show your potential customers that when you do fall short of the mark that you are willing to make it right!
If you need help managing your reviews or your online presence, that’s what I do for home service contractors! I would love to help you out. Click the link below if you’d like to have a free consultation to see how I can help you out with your business. Thank you!