We all have them – those mean, nasty customers that are hard to please. Some of them even seem like they do everything they can to make sure you don’t please them. So what happens when that customer makes their way online to review your business? What do you do when that “one-star” review pops up on Google, Yelp, or Facebook? Easy, follow these four R’s of bad reviews!
First and foremost, once you notice the review, respond. I recommend trying to personalize it as much as possible, but it may be beneficial to come up with a generic script to start. Make sure you script contains the complainant’s name, an apology for any misunderstandings, a request to help make it better, and a way to contact you. Sometimes, this may be the only step that you need to take. Some people get hacked and leave reviews they did not know occurred, some simply leave reviews on the wrong page and responding makes them reevaluate the name, or, if someone doesn’t completely understand how reviews work, they may have left the negative review completely on accident! Don’t become emotional, take a breath and take the first leap of responding.
Review the case on hand. When did this customer come in? What good did they buy or what service was provided? Who was in contact with this customer? When the customer calls (or if you attempt to contact them), make sure you ask these. Also, while you’re on the phone reviewing, allow them to air their grievances. Sometimes, the best way to solve the problem is to let the customer first yell at you a little. I know it can be difficult, but many times these angry people want to be heard and tell their side of the story to someone who is listening, and just listening can really help.
Repair the problem. Does the product need to be replaced? Offer to get them a new one. Do they need a technician to come back out and repair something they missed? Send the technician ASAP. Do what you can to fix the problem at hand. I realize sometimes there is no resolution, but sometimes it does help to show the customer that you are trying to ensure their happiness.
This is the biggest one – request that they update their review. If they are satisfied with the solution and how things are handled, most will be more than willing to at least give an update. No, it still may not be a perfect 5-star review, but it is better than a 1-star! By updating, it shows that you have worked with the customer to reach an understanding. This, in turn, shows other customers that you are committed to customer service and want to be sure everyone is satisfied when they have used your product or service.
Try not to delete negative reviews if possible. The only time I would recommend deleting a review is when it contains: a) profanity, b) a personal attack at an employee, or c) any sort of threat to the business or to a person. If any of these appear in the review, take a screen shot of the review for future reference and then delete it.
Remember, not all negative reviews are necessarily bad. These reviews give you a chance to showcase your customer service skills, identify a weakness you might not have known existed, and gives you more legitimacy. Bad reviews may even benefit your business! In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, products with polite negative reviews (ie starting off with “in my opinion,” or “I don’t want to be rude”) hardly affect customer perception of the particular product.
So remember the four R’s next time someone wants to bash your business online. If you would like to learn more about responding to negative reviews, ask us! Let us #TurnTheLightBulbOn for your business one review at a time.