The Next Steps After Receiving a Negative Review
As a business owner, you’re bound to encounter a negative review from an unsatisfied customer at some point in your career. While a negative review can be daunting or frustrating, especially when you believe that you’re in the right, addressing negative reviews in a prompt, thoughtful manner is a critical part of being a successful business owner. The next time you receive a bad review, follow these simple tips for crafting the perfect response.
When someone leaves a negative review, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible. This shows that you are committed to addressing the problem, and that you’re attentive to your customers’ complaints, issues, or other feedback. It may be tempting to ignore a bad review, but that means you will never have a chance to win your unhappy customer back—and may make your business come across as unfriendly, unhelpful, and unwilling to listen to their customers’ needs.
Apologize and take responsibility
In your response to a negative review, an apology is one of the most important parts. An apology works to appease the unhappy customer, and shows that you are committed to addressing the issue instead of immediately jumping to the defense. It can be difficult to issue an apology when you feel that the customer is wrong or being unnecessarily demanding, but a simple statement like “I’m sorry that we didn’t meet your expectations” can go a long way. Even if you feel like you didn’t do anything wrong, you can still apologize in a way that empathetically acknowledges their feelings.
Similarly, you should take responsibility for the issue. If applicable, you can provide a brief explanation of what might have gone wrong, but avoid aggressive or confrontational responses.
Offer to take the conversation offline
When a review is left somewhere like Facebook or Yelp, it is available for all future or potential customers to see. This is why you should respond publicly to a negative review. In some cases, a professional response to a bad review can change the minds of people who might be considering your business, despite the initial negativity. Responding publicly is a great chance to take a negative situation and turn it into something that showcases your integrity and commitment.
However, when responding to someone who wrote a negative review, you might also want to consider offering the chance to discuss the issues further in a more private space, like via email or in a private message. This gives both parties the opportunity to share more details, and creates a welcoming, responsive rapport.
Offer a solution
In your response, offer a solution to the compliant. In some cases, this might be a discount or special offer, or some kind of refund. In other instances, the solution might be speaking to an employee about their behavior, offering additional training, or doing something to remedy the issue at hand. Regardless of how you choose to solve the issue in the negative review, make sure your customer is aware of the steps you’ll be taking to address the issue. Then, be sure to follow-through on swiftly implementing that solution.
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