Yikes; that gut-wrenching moment just hit where you check your business on social media and see a negative review. The review is tearing your company apart, and you are afraid of what it will do for your business. Before you panic, know that negative reviews are more common than you may think. Consumers often take to social media to express their frustrations. Unfortunately, as businesses, we suffer the consequences since social media is a public platform for them to deface your brand. So what do you do? To help our customers address these negative reviews, we have three simple steps for them to follow. Let’s take a look!
You Have to See It to Believe It
The first step in addressing a review is actually noticing that there is a negative review out there. It is generally a good idea to do a social media sweep weekly of your pages’ reviews. This includes Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Often, potential customers look to social media for references and an unaddressed negative review can be bad news. Luckily, addressing it properly can help reshape your image in the potential customer’s eyes. Remember, they are watching how you respond to the client. You want to be posed and professional when addressing a past client publicly. It is always a good idea to reference facts without accusing. A potential client will take notice of how you respond and decide whether or not they want to do business with you.
Know the Facts
Before you address a negative comment, you will want to gather all of the facts from the said incident. If you were not personally involved in the matter, be sure to talk with your employees to understand what had happened and why the client is upset. Remember, you are a business, and your client’s happiness is essential. Try to address the situation from their point of view. If you were upset about a company doing something you saw as wrong, would not you want them to address your concerns? Likewise, you should address it for them. Be sure to gather all the intel you can before proceeding.
Rectification Over Reputation
Your image is at stake; we understand that, but now is not the time to get defensive. Ideally, you want to change their mind while looking like the “good guy” to those who are watching. If you want to make this more personal, which we recommend, you can mention in your response that you are going to reach out to them. Whether it be a phone call or email, you should privately address the matter out of respect for their situation. If you do decide to address the situation publicly, we recommend following these guidelines:
- Respond quickly.
- Try not to take it personal. It is important to stay level-headed in situations like these. You always want your responses to be poised and professional.
- If you feel like the situation will not end here, it is not worth the battle. Some people are bitter on the inside and nothing you say or do will make it better.
- Be direct and honest. It is best to keep it short as well.
- Do not take responsibility if it was not your company’s fault.
- Be empathic. Think like a consumer and try to step into their shoes. What would you want to hear in this circumstance?
In essence, address the negative review with kindness, honesty, and empathy. In the end, some people are just angry on the inside and just want to be mean. You cannot let those reviews bother you. Just address what you can personally, but you can include it in your response: “Thank you for your review. We appreciate your honest feedback and want you to know that your response has not gone unnoticed. We would like to personally reach out to you via a phone call to address the situation you mentioned and rectify it to the best of our abilities. We appreciated your business and would love to address this matter for you.”
If you have any questions about negative reviews, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.