A crucial aspect of handling any business is dealing with what customers say about it. The internet is a community full of opinions and ideas of every kind; and no matter how good you are at providing customer service, it is quite likely that you may have a few bad reviews. You cannot grow as a business unless such reviews are dealt in a positive manner. However, at times, it becomes tough to know what the right thing to do is in these situations. If you find yourself in such a dilemma, then read on to find out how to respond to negative service reviews.
1. Provide the reviewer with an appropriate reply
The first thing that you must do when you get a negative review is you must give the customer an appropriate reply. The issue with online reviews is that other people are reading it, so providing a positive reply is what will help you mitigate the damage. However, do not be defensive; give the reviewer a sincere reply, apologize, and offer a chance to experience your service again.
2. Do not blame the reviewer/customer
Even if you think that the specific issue mentioned in the complaint was due to the customer’s own fault, do not mention it in your reply. Reviews are always on a public platform, and being defensive or blaming the customer can make the situation even worse for you. Instead, provide the customer with a polite reply acknowledging what they said, and ask for their permission to contact them and discuss the issue further.
3. Keep the replies short in all your public comments
Often, the best response is something like “Please call our customer care at 888***** so that we can discuss the issue further.” Airing your dirty laundry in public is not going to help your business and its prospective customers. Providing detailed defensive reviews is only going to make your business look guiltier, and it is not really the best customer-care practice.
4. Think of the comments/reviews as a source of free research and insights
Often, these reviews and comments give you information, suggestions or points that you would otherwise have to gain through significant investment of time and money. Make a note of every query, suggestion and issue that comes to you through these forums. It may be hard for you to look at negative reviews and come up with an appropriate reply. However, in the end, you will be able to see the value of providing positive replies in the midst of all this mess.
5. Hire someone to take care of negative responses
With the growth of your business, the comments and consequently their impact on the business will also increase. With all of that happening simultaneously, you cannot take care of replying to the increasing amount of comments and reviews alone. Hiring a social media manager to take care of all of that for you may be what you need to do to better manage this issue.
Ignoring or not providing replies to these reviews could significantly hurt your business’ image. Get involved and speak up to keep your present customers with you and your potential customers armed with the right information!