It’s important to have an action plan when it comes to responding to less-than-positive reviews of your business.
If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll ask for a glass of milk…and if you don’t have that glass of milk, he might not be totally satisfied with your service. In the era of having the internet at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever for customers—especially unhappy customers—to immediately take to their computers or smartphones and tap away in their immediate state of dissatisfaction.
Although you may do everything in your power to give your customers what they want (and sometimes even more than you promise), inevitably, not everyone will be totally satisfied. Perhaps one of your salespeople may be having a bad day and give your potential customers a bad impression; maybe they’re unhappy with your prices—whatever the reason, you are bound to get some negative reviews online.
We’ve already talked about why you should respond to your negative online reviews—now we’re here to help you out with the how.
Receiving negative reviews is not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world. And since data shows that 4 in 5 consumers reverse their purchase decisions based on negative reviews, it is handling these reviews properly that will ultimately help build your online reputation even higher. Follow these steps to turn those unhappy reviewers back into potential customers.
1. Know Where to Look
Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, Facebook…there are many different review platforms out there for people to leave reviews on. Make sure you know where to find your reviews—you don’t want a bad one out there lingering with no response for all to see. Instead of manually searching every possible review site, there are many products out there that will do this for you. This is why having a performance management tool is beneficial; it does this work for you. See all your reviews from all sites in one place, and getting to our next point, even respond from this all-in-one review platform, too.
2. Respond Quickly
No, you don’t have to be refreshing your feed of your online review platforms to respond to these reviews ASAP, but you should be regularly checking in on them. This way, if a negative review comes up, you can respond in a timely manner (set a goal, say 3 days maximum) while it is still fresh in the customer’s mind. Keep in mind that you may need to address anyone internally about the situation if need be before you are fully aware of the situation and how you will respond.
3. Draft Your Response
Although you want to make sure you can respond to the review in a time-efficient manner, this does not mean that you should hurry and type up whatever comes to mind first. Do your research into the situation, write up something to address all of the customer’s concerns, and proofread. It isn’t enough to simply be apologetic; you want to be actionable. Just like anything you’d put on your website or pay to put on an advertisement, this response will stay on the internet and read by many. You want to get it right.
4. Give Your Direct Contact Information if Necessary
If there is an issue brought up in the review that is particularly concerning, show that you personally care. People like people, so when you are putting a real face and voice to your business and showing you truly care about their concerns, they will appreciate it. The whole conversation doesn’t need to be online, but it shows you are willing and putting forth the effort to make it right.
How do you handle negative online reviews? Drop us a comment below with your best tips.