An irate customer just slams you with a horrific review online on your business’s social media page. Everyone saw it, your other followers, your customers, even your friends and family. Now what? How can you protect your business from negative online feedback?
Do you delete the offending online review and pretend it never happened?
This is one of the worst courses of action you could take. Any successful business knows there will always be a time, no matter how great the customer service is, or attentive the staff treats the customer, someone at some point will be dissatisfied. Maybe they did have a negative experience, or perhaps they didn’t get the service they were expecting. Either way responses must be handled in the up-most professional manner. By deleting an online review you’re basically telling the unsatisfied customer, “We don’t care that you had a bad experience, get over it”. It also sends a negative message to your other social media online followers that if they have a problem, your business will not take responsibility. Who wants to do business with a company who doesn’t care about their customers? It’s just not good business.
Do you respond to the negative online review in the same manner as the customer?
The answer is No. If the customer left a bad online review and your response is just as rude and negative as theirs was you’re promoting your company in a negative light. One bad online response can send your company spiraling downwards to the point of no return. Even after something has been deleted online you can usually find it again, and if you can’t, you cannot remove it from your customers memory.
“The internet is not written in pencil, it’s written in ink” – The Social Network – 2010.
So as a business owner, how do I respond to the bad online review?
The best way to handle a negative online review is to respond in a positive light. Respond to the online review quickly, offer an apology for the negative experience and request the customer call and speak to management to remedy the situation. Responses should not be emotionally written. This can lead to a mis-understanding with the offended customer and create even further online negativity for your business.
Once you get in contact with the patron ask them what they would like in order to make up for the bad experience with the company. Most of the time, after you have come up with an agreeable solution, you can request the customer update their online review. Even if they don’t, putting your best foot forward and showing the public that your company is trust worthy and works hard to keep their customers happy will not only keep you in business, but will open the doors to receiving brand new customers.