Last Updated: Sep 7, 207
No one lkes to fnd complants about ther busness on Facebook or customer revew webstes, but unless ’re perfect, t wll probably happen. Use these steps to r busness deal wth negatve revews onlne.

We lve n a world where everybody has a voce. r customers can talk, take pctures, nteract wth others, and creatve postve or negatve buzz about ther experences wth r busness and worst of all, t sn’t necessarly true.

Head over to Yelp, TrpAdvsor, OpenTable, or any of the socal meda stes and wthn seconds, can read opnon after opnon of r busness. Many are lkely postve but what should do when the negatve revews come n?

Here are 9 steps for effectvely handlng negatve revews: 

What knd of advce s that, rght? r busness s RS and that makes ths very personal. n actualty, t’s not personal. The revewer s respondng to ther experences wth r busness just as they would wth any other busness. Put on r busness cap and remember that t’s not a reflecton of as a person.

t’s underable that mght want to challenge the person to one of those wld-west-style duels but that’s a sure-fre way to compound the damage. Nobody lkes a hothead so don’t act like one. t should stll be true that the customer s always rght. Even f don’t beleve t n a certan case, r response should ndcate t. (More on how to respond later.)

Yes, Facebook, lke all socal meda s about nteracton but most busnesses turn off the feature that allows anybody to post on ther page. Remember that ’re only turnng off orgnal posts—not comts. Make sure r brand s the outgong voce on r Facebook page and let others only comt on r posts. f someone posts a complant, can respond n the comt secton.

f that seems a lttle, well, rude, der ths: Those who are savvy enough to wrte a Facebook revew lkely know of the myrad places where they can wrte a revew onlne ncludng r webste, Twtter, and many others. f they wrote on the wndows of r vrtual front, would quckly remove t. r Facebook page s one of the wndows of r vrtual front.

r compettors are probably fndng tme n ther busy schedule to make t rght wth angry customers on socal meda. should too. f ’re runnng r busness well, t’s lkely that only a few negatve revews are comng n but t’s mportant to address each. “ don’t have tme” doesn’t cut t when ’re dong busness n a dgtal world.

The person s annoyed and when people are upset, they frst want to know that they were heard. f the person s complanng that ther food took an hour to get to ther table, start r response wth, “’m truly sorry that t took an hour for to receve r dnner.”

r frst reacton s to gve a reason why. “We were short-staffed” or “t was an unusually busy day” or “we were stll recoverng from the weekend” are exc and send the message that don’t own the mstake. Why t happened sn’t ther problem so don’t rsk an excuse soundng lke an attempt to pass blame to others. nstead, say somethng lke, “ths was uncharacterstc of us and we would lke to make t rght.”

The complant s framed n the negatve so respond n the postve. “We’re truly sorry that our sales assocate was unfrendly. We’ve been n busness for more than 5 years servng thousands of customers per week but each customer s mportant to us. We would lke to offer …”

r response to angry customers wll say more about r busness than the postve revews receve. Regardless of who s rght or wrong, resolve the issue n a way that makes the customer whole.

f t was a dnng experence, refund ther check. f t was a product, offer to take t wth no questons asked. Whatever prce have to pay, t’s a way to show potential customers that your business values people. Thnk of t as advertsng at a dscount.

t’s completely reasonable that ask for verfcaton. f ’re gong to refund a purchase, want to see proof that they actually shopped or dned at r busness – but don’t put that n the publc response. Tell the customer to call or emal (provde contact nformaton) to provde detals needed to process the refund.

Most mportant, remember that most people who frequent revew stes and look for r busness on socal meda know that all of r revews won’t be perfect. Don’t sweat t f receve a few bad revews. Smply make t rght and show everybody that care about r customers.

Fnally, watch for patterns. f numerous people are postng complants to r socal meda pages about slow servce, they’re rght and t’s somethng need to address. Negatve revews stng but they’re valuable feed can use to make buld a better busness.

Related: 10 Powerful Steps to Defuse Angry Customers

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