Nobody likes reading negative reviews about their business, although if you’re in business long enough everyone experiences a bad review or two. The question is how do you respond? If your answer is “by ignoring it”, you should visit my blog post about the importance of responding to negative reviews. Here is a quick 6 step program to help with the process of responding to your online negative review.
1) Breath, relax and fully understand the comment, along with looking into the review by inquiring with your employees. This means really getting an understanding where the customer’s frustration lies.
2) Build a plan of action. How will you respond? Depending on the review and the customer it may be best to continue the conversation via a more private medium (example: e-mail).
3) Now that you’re in better spirits it’s time to draft your response (writing a response sooner than later is always better, although you may not be in the correct mindset to write a response…). If there is any misunderstanding concerning the comment you can always ask for more information. It goes without saying that your customer wants to see you’re human.
4) Review your response and ask yourself if it includes the following: a. If the comment is vague are you re-explaining the issue to ensure all readers understand the incident. b. Are you thanking the customer for bringing this incident to your attention? c. Are you including an apology? d. Are you inviting them to take this conversation offline (example: via a phone call, e-mail etc…)
5) It’s time to respond! Please note that it’s important to respond along with providing a means of taking the conversation offline, or in a more private matter. You do not want to go back and forth with the customer on a platform that is open for the world to see.
6) Log the complaint and ensure that your company is taking measures to ensure the incident doesn’t happen again. I’ve also seen companies provide a conclusion on the review, or have asked the customer to update the status of the comment/review.
There are so many ways to dealing with a negative review, let me know what has or hasn’t worked for you.