You're probably not going to be happy about this, but some of your customers will probably leave unsatisfied—despite all your best efforts to wow them and create an amazing experience.
No one likes getting negative reviews, and it can be tough not to take them personally. If you’re not careful, a negative review can turn into a nightmare for your public image and even ruin your reputation. Thankfully, we're here to help you make things right so that doesn't happen!
In this article, we’re going to cover how to respond to bad reviews and use their feedback to make your business even better.
Somebody left your business a bad review, and it doesn’t fit in with all the other shining 5-star reviews you’ve worked so hard to get. It’s even brought your overall rating down. How can you fix this?
Before you rush to the keyboard to defend your business’ honor and let your emotions take over, take some time to calm down. It might even be a good idea to let someone respond who wasn’t directly involved in the interaction. Getting defensive will only escalate the situation and make things worse.
Make a plan to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Try to reframe the bad review as a chance to do things over and put your best foot forward.
We’re going to lay out 4 simple steps you can take to transform negative reviews into positive experiences and boost your online reputation. You can even use these tips to show new and potential customers how amazing your services are… And that above all, that you care about them.
How to Respond
- Use the customer’s first name when responding to them.
So many businesses miss this detail. It’s the best way to start off your response in an intentional, personable manner. Rather than addressing them as “customer”, “valued customer”, “sir”, or “ma’am” (SO many businesses do this!), address them by name. When dealing with an unhappy customer, you want to keep the interaction genuine and human. Using their name in a nice, respectful way shows that you care about them and creates more of a relationship between you and the customer.
- Thank them for the feedback.
Even negative customer feedback is valuable to you as a business owner. Therefore, you should always thank customers for their feedback. This shows that you appreciate their opinion and value their experience.
It can be difficult to thank someone for a review that seems especially harsh or unfair. But it will let your customer, along with everyone else who sees the review, know that you care about what they have to say.
The first step towards making them right is apologizing for their experience. It can be tough to recognize and admit that your business has messed up in some way. But saying “We’re sorry” shows your customers that you care and you want to improve.
There are times when a bad review has more to do with the customer themselves than you or anything your business did. Even so, we recommend taking the high road and accepting responsibility. You never want any customer to have a negative experience with you!
- Make it right.
Presenting the offended party with an actionable solution is even more important than apologizing. You should provide a thoughtful solution that goes beyond a canned response like, “we hope we can make it up to you.” A vague response such as this does not show authenticity. Instead, make things personal and think critically about how you can avoid a repeat of this problem in the future.