Turning Frowns Into Smiles
What to do about negative reviews?
You know you won’t be in business very long if you consistently disappoint customers, but it will happen from time to time. When it does, negative reviews are likely to be left on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or one of the other online review sites. The good news is that if you work with the client to resolve the issue, they will, in most cases, be willing to work with you again. Your goal is to always try to resolve the issue. The challenge is the fact that online reviews are so public.
How do I remove negative reviews?
The short answer is that you can’t. People have a right to say what they want to say, and bad reviews aren’t all bad. People are actually looking at your negative reviews because they want to see how you handle problems. Handling them well will help build your credibility. Assuming the majority of your reviews are positive, customers will feel confident hiring you, knowing most of the time you get it right and if things go wrong you will stand behind your product or service.
Treat negative reviews as if you were face to face.
When you read a comment from a dissatisfied customer imagine they have walked into the lobby of your office. If they were angry and yelling or making a scene what would you do? Engage them in the lobby, in-front of customers? Probably not. Odds are you would try to move them somewhere else to have quieter, calmer, more intimate conversation. “I’m sorry, you’re disappointed. Can we go into my office and talk about it?”
I recently sat down with Bryan Caplan to talk about why reviews matter and how to handle negative reviews.
One of my favorite parts of the interview was his explanation of the Four “P”‘s of taking care of unhappy customers online.
Why Reviews Matter
If someone posts a negative comment, you need to respond quickly so you can take control of your brand and the narrative. Ideally, you should have notifications go to your phone so you can respond within 12 to 24 hours because in the age of the internet, anything more than that is just too long.
It is hard to smile when someone says something negative, but that is exactly what you need to do. Thank them for their feedback, acknowledge that they are dissatisfied, and offer to have a conversation. Do not try to prove them wrong. That argumentative tone will never end well. The fighting will escalate. You won’t make that person happy and worse you will show other people that if they are dissatisfied, you are likely to treat them poorly as well.
Be sure your answers are well written, with good grammar and spelling. Resist the urge to respond quickly on your phone, because auto correct may make you look a bit foolish. It helps to have a standard starting phrase you can cut and paste: Thank you so much for your feedback, we really appreciate it. I am sorry we did not meet your expectations. (See, you can respond without admitting you did anything wrong.) Please contact me……
Pick up the Phone
Most of the time when people write a negative review, they just want to be heard so give them that opportunity. Reach out. Try to take it offline, so that then you can resolve the issue. Hopefully, they will then change their review from a one, two, or three star to a four or five, or they delete their review to help your review scores go up.
The bottom line
Don’t be afraid of a negative review. See it as an opportunity to do better.
did you enjoy my conversation with Bryan?
Look for more episodes of More than a Few Words wherever you listen to podcasts.
Can you delete a negative review?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is this negative review gives you an opportunity to turn a bad situation into a good one if you handle the complain well.
This content is brought to you by Roundpeg, an Indianapolis content marketing company.