As a business, negative business reviews are inevitable. It’s hard to please every single customer. You may try your hardest, provide great products and excellent customer service, but you’ll have to deal with a negative business review sooner or later. This is simply an organic part of any business as it grows.
With the online world using reviews to make decisions on what to buy, where to eat and even which plumbing service to call, it’s important to handle negative reviews in the best way possible. You cannot simply ignore these reviews.
Here are five effective ways to handle negative reviews about your business.
1. Find out what you can
The first step in handing any negative business review is to find out where it’s coming from and who wrote the review, if possible. You may need to set up alerts for popular review sites and social media sites to help you find out where the review is coming from. This will allow you to see it as soon as it happens and it will not go unnoticed.
2. Take a breath and relax
Your first reaction may be to get a bit upset about a negative review. However, you want to make sure you take a little time to relax before you respond or try to handle the review. The last thing you want to do is make the situation worse with a knee jerk reaction.
Before responding, think about what you will say and whether it will be helpful for the customer or simply spiteful. You don’t want to make the situation worse, so don’t write anything until you are calm and thinking clearly.
3. Rely on fans’ support
While there are things you should do to handle a negative review, sometimes it’s enough to rely on your existing fan’s support. You don’t want to go through the review line by line and counter every point the reviewer made. This will make you look incompetent and a bit vindictive.
Instead, let other customers handle this part by responding to the reviewer for you if they feel led to do so.
4. Apologize to the reviewer
It may seem counterproductive to apologize to a negative reviewer, as though you are “admitting guilt” or wrongdoing. However, an apology will go a long way when it comes to a negative business review.
If a customer had bad experience with your company, the best way to open up the possibility of rectifying the situation is with a sincere apology. If mistakes were made, acknowledge the mistakes and make sure you remain humble.
5. Make it better
Some companies will go overboard with explanation letters when they receive a negative review. This isn’t necessary and can make things worse. Instead, keep it short and to the point. You can ask the customer how you can improve their experience and you can even reach out to them in a more personal way.
If you really feel like you need to go above and beyond, you can offer the customer something free of charge or at a discount. Maybe a replacement product, a credit, or some type of coupon will help smooth things over.
Negative business reviews are part of the reality of doing business. You need to make sure you handle negative reviews in the best possible way. Take the time to calm down before you respond and use the tips above to help you handle any negative business reviews you might receive.