Surviving a Bad Review
Nothing is more disconcerting than when someone posts a bad online review about your business. You fully understand the impact a negative review can have. Potential customers are often far more open to believing a bad review over a good review. Why? They want to know what the worst-case scenario might be before they open their wallets.
Frustrating, isn’t it? Before you think all is lost, especially if you have a new business, know that the complete absence of bad reviews is not necessarily a good thing. A few bad reviews provide potential customers with a sense of “truth.” No one can be perfect all the time. How you respond to a negative review can change the situation in your favor. Read on, before you decide to spend your hard-earned money trying to get rid of a bad review.
A bad review may help you to identify areas that need improvement.
Before you throw out some well-chosen epithets against the person who gave you a bad review, open your mind. Is there some truth to the negative feedback? If there is, the bad review provides you with an opportunity to make your business better by fixing a problem area. By monitoring customer reviews regularly, you demonstrate the ability to understand what customers expect from you and your business.
Also, examine your competitors’ reviews to see how their customer feedback compares to yours. Take advantage of the results and use it to make improvements and to provide expanded services.
A bad review makes you look human.
We’ve all read reviews that drip with such positivity that it is evident that they have been bought and paid for by the company featuring them. Our internal compass screams “FAKE!” While you don’t want to see an overwhelming number of bad reviews, the occasional customer rant ensures potential customers that you are not a fake.
A bad review is an opportunity to set things straight.
Respond to the person who gave you a bad review. For example, you can say something like, “We are sorry you were not happy with our service, (or product) and we would like the opportunity to make it right. Please call us at your earliest convenience.” You cannot eliminate problems entirely, but when you respond with grace and a genuine desire to help your customer, that customer may return and give you a glowing review. Mistakes happen, that’s life. Use a bad review as leverage to develop a more positive relationship with your customer.
Do respond publicly but not to make excuses. To your potential customers becoming defensive and blaming the writer of a bad review for what went wrong are giant turn-offs. If you’ve made a mistake, own it. Respond with empathy and use the opportunity to make things better in the future.
Work to encourage good reviews.
There are many actions you can take to encourage your customers to give you positive reviews. A simple gesture such as sending a customer a thank you card in the mail will make it more likely that your customer will take the time to write a good review. Ask your customers to give you a positive review every time you know you’ve given them excellent service. Make sure you are listed with several review services so that you can balance the occasional bad review with good reviews on alternate sites.