When someone leaves a negative review, DON’T PANIC!
There are two reason not to panic:
- There is probably something you can do to better the situation
- Everyone is going to have a couple of bad reviews. You could have had a tough customer or it is possible that you made a mistake. You’re only human. However, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and do nothing.
Here is what you need to do:
- Focus on what the person is concerned about. It may seem completely irrational but you have to remember that the customer needs to be taken seriously. Is it because of something that your company did or did not do? Is it because they did not read the fine print? Take notes.
- Talk with your team to see what went wrong and why. Was there a misstep or are you dealing with a customer that expected more than you could deliver?
- When you write a response, make it clear that you hear what they are saying and that you empathize with their situation.
- Apologize and make sure it is sincere.
- If you can make amends, then resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
- Don’t try to defend yourself. It is great in a court of law but what customers want to see is how you resolve problems.
- Write what you want to say first and then have someone else read it or give it a night and go back to it.
If You Made a Mistake
Own up to it in the response. What most people are looking for in a company is honesty. If you can show that you made an honest mistake and are willing to take steps to fix it, you will regain the trust of potential clients that read the review. This will also give you an opportunity for the client in question to give you a better review.
Make sure to keep a professional tone at all times. If you wish to go into a detailed explanation then try to do so with the client privately first. Explanations can take a lot of back and forth and since you don’t know how the customer will respond it is best to do it through email or in person.
If You Did Not Make a Mistake
It is sad to say but just as there are companies out there that cheat their customers, there are also people who try to blackmail companies into getting free services by using or threatening bad reviews.
In this case, you may just have to face the situation. They are someone who cannot be reasoned with and they just want something for nothing. To prevent this in the future it may be a good idea to document the work you perform so you can provide a response with evidence at their accusation. Though these proofs are best done privately through email.
Of course, be professional about it and attempt a response online as well. As long as you come off as being professional then some people who see the review will not automatically believe you are in the wrong.
In the worst-case scenario, you may have to give them something for free but that is up to your discretion.
Contact the company that the review is posted on. There may be able to remove the review if it is vilifying or defamatory.
Concentrate on Getting Positive Reviews
Make sure to ask your clients that appreciate your service to give a review on different platforms. After a job has been completed, perform call backs a while later to see that they are still satisfied. That is a great opportunity to ask for a positive review.
With enough effort, you can start to drown out the negative reviews and get yourself back on track.
There Is a Positive to This Negative
Consumers are becoming savvier with online review sites. If they see that accompany has only 5 and 4 star reviews they may become suspicious that all the comments are manufactured rather than genuine. Having a few bad ones balances out the situation and gives people the impression that you are professionals but also people.