A negative online review of your services could discourage other prospective clients from hiring your commercial business. In a study by Dimensional Research, 88 percent of respondents said they “have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision.” Not so good for your bottom line. Don’t panic just yet, though – a quick response coupled with some TLC (tender loving care) can help turn a negative review into a positive.
A bad review can happen to even the most reliable service businesses, whether it’s from a dissatisfied client (warranted or not) or a sneaky competitor using a fake name. Monitoring both social media and service review websites helps you gauge customer satisfaction and your reputation. It also enables you to showcase your company values to the World Wide Web and do damage control if an online user writes a less-than-stellar review.
Below we provide some helpful response tips for maintaining a positive reputation when an unexpected bad review is written for the world to see.
Step 1: Breathe
Your passion as a business owner makes any feedback more personal. While it’s normal human response to get defensive, staying positive will get you the best outcome. Remember, “the customer is always right” (even if they’re wrong).
After seeing a nasty review, collect your thoughts first and then respond in a professional way.
Step 2: Show You Care
It’s important to remember that other prospective clients browsing the web will read your reply. To make a personal connection with the reviewer, send a private message first, if possible, before posting a public reply. A thoughtful, prompt response communicating a solution to resolve their complaint can restore your reputation. Offering a refund or discount on their next purchase doesn’t hurt either.
For example, a reviewer complained about a delay in your cleaning or janitorial service. Although this delay may have been due to an unavoidable situation, such as an unexpected equipment malfunction or bad traffic, this is the chance to highlight your company values, not to backlash. Your reply could include an acknowledgement of their complaint, a statement that reinforces your company’s commitment to customer satisfaction, and how you will rectify the problem or who to contact for resolution.
Step 3: Take the Good with the Bad, and then Learn from It
Comments about your business on review sites, both positive and negative, can be used to improve your product or service. Make it a learning experience. For example, incorporate negative reviews into your employee training with steps to prevent future issues. Highlight positive reviews to keep up the good work.
Rectifying a negative online review doesn’t end with these steps, however. If given another chance, make sure the client’s next experience with your business meets or exceeds expectations. Follow up with them after service to see how it went. By being responsive and showing you care both online and offline, you can help influence other prospects into becoming clients.
How did you handle a negative online review?