It’s almost 2014, you can’t hide from social media. Whether your brand is there or not, your customers are there, and they’re very chatty. With all this chatter, there’s likely to be some talk that is not so nice, so what do you do? Here are six ways to handle negative reviews:
1) Address it. Don’t sweep it under the rug and act like it’s not there. “Oh give it a few days, no one will remember it” only works in print (sometimes). Online, reviews are there to stay for users to scroll through for years to come. If they see multiple bad reviews and no response from your company, they’re likely to think those reviews are true.
2) Breathe. Read the review, then take a few deep breaths before you respond. Make sure you’d not letting your emotions get the best of you. While someone may be insulting your pride and joy that you’ve been working on for years, remember that how you react can set the tone for how your customers will view your product and your brand. I mean, we all remember what happened to Amy’s Kitchen…
3) Apologize when it’s your fault, empathize when it’s not. If your business was truly at fault, then you should apologize. If the customer is a fault, it’s best not to call them out on it; however, it is a good idea to empathize. Whatever you do, unless the customer is slanderously wrong, it’s best to find a positive way to approach their issues.
4) Offer a solution. Even if you can’t do anything about the situation except provide a customer service number they can call, any type of solution is ideal. They have a problem, you have a solution. Simple as that.
5) Take ownership. This doesn’t mean to own the issue, take ownership of your page. While you cannot control what people are saying, you can take ownership of your page to indicate your hours, website, contact information, etc. This can help you take back *some* control, though it may not be much.
6) Reflect on it. Don’t brush off every negative review as just a ‘pissed off client’. Though yes, they may have been upset when they wrote the review, was there any truth to it? While it’s always hard to look at your own flaws, people are far more forgiving than you think when you admit your mistakes and are willing to rectify them.
The internet is no place for a public argument, especially with your customers. So when in doubt, remember what my third grade teacher used to say “Kill them with kindness” 🙂