We have long championed online reviews and the benefits that they can bring a business.
Positive ones will really show you are credible and trustworthy and can work wonders bringing in new customers.
But allowing reviews also creates the possibility of getting negative feedback.
Bad reviews are inevitable, all businesses will get them. They’re not the end of the world though. In fact, they can be a good thing - they are a great way to get feedback to help improve your offering.
But how should you deal with them? Let’s take a look.
Always reply promptly. If someone is annoyed, they’re going to want to hear from you as soon as possible. And from your point of view, you want to deal with it before it escalates further.
Whether it’s on social media, through your website (if you have one) or on an online review platform, check them regularly (daily if you can) and set up alerts that tell you when a new review has been left.
Never take things personally. Even if what’s being said isn’t true, be polite, understanding and professional. State the facts, and never blame other people for the problem, or create excuses.
Providing you have the customer’s phone number or email address, you could try and contact them directly and really listen to what they are saying, particularly if it’s a really bad review. If not, you could leave them your contact details so they can contact you.
Once the review is resolved, you could leave a reply stating what’s happened, to show other customers that the situation has been dealt with.
Customers can also update and amend their reviews. If you follow it up and do what you say you’re going to do and make the customer happy, they may update their review.
There’s no point spending time replying to reviews if you don’t learn from them. It’s great to be a business known for listening to their customers.
Look for commonalities within the reviews - are there certain things that are mentioned a few times? If so, this is a good place to start. It could be that it’s a specific product causing issues, or a service, or even a member of staff.
You can then start to think of ways to improve it. For example, if it’s feedback on the staff, could you offer them more training? If it’s around delivery times, could you offer a speedier service?
The main thing is that you don’t take the bad reviews personally. Every business will get bad reviews - it’s how you deal with them and learn from them that’s important.