A negative review is enough to take the wind out of anyone’s sails. You’ve fought hard to establish your business, and any criticisms can feel personally disparaging. More importantly, bad reviews have a real impact on your business’s health and growth. A Harvard Business School study recently found that an increase of just one star in a business’s Yelp rating can boost its revenue anywhere from 5-9%, proving that these ratings have tangible effects on your bottom line.
Fortunately, most consumers are rational people who understand that mistakes can happen. They are more likely to judge a business by the way management addresses and attempts to resolve any mistake or issues their customers experience. It’s vital to act immediately, so be sure to respond to every one of these, even if you were able to sort it out with the customer via email or offline. Follow these tips in order to turn negative reviews into opportunities, not only to reengage customers that would otherwise be lost, but also to show off your dedication to customer service.
And if you are still looking for more tips on the subject, watch our on-demand webinar, presented with Weebly on Online Reputation Management.
The first thing you should do is take a few deep breaths and collect your thoughts. It’s never a good idea to jump into a response, especially with reviews you find rude or unfair. Yelp recommends keeping the following in mind when composing responses:
- Your reviewers are your paying customers
- Your reviewers are human beings with (sometimes unpredictable) feelings and sensitivities
- Your reviewers are vocal and opinionated (otherwise they would not be writing reviews!)
Calling out specific comments in an otherwise glowing review can be seen as being too nit-picky or aggressive. For other small or overly complicated issues, there’s usually benefits to keeping it simple and concise. Thank them for feedback, apologize and leave it at that. If customers perceive you’re trying to make excuses for poor service or quality it can further alienate them.
Do everything you can to find a resolution and keep them as a happy customer. 87% of consumers agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review improves their impression of the business, so try to make things right, even if you don’t agree with their arguments. Keep an open mind and look for areas to improve in to avoid future mishaps.
Don’t Cause Further Damage:
As bad as a negative review can be, things can always get worse. Getting pulled into ugly altercations with the customers you’re trying to win back will serve to further compound the effect of an already-bad review. It will serve as a warning sign to anyone in search of your business’s offering for a long time to come. Some reviewers know this and might try to test your limits. Keep a level head and make sure you don’t do anything to exacerbate the situation. The last thing you want is for them to share your heated response all over the internet, plastering it across review sites, social media and personal blogs or articles.
Contracting and Home Services Month Bonus Tip: Take advantage of longer term (and more substantive) relationships usually associated with contracting projects. Do everything in your power to check in with clients, and make sure they’re satisfied with your progress along the way. If you receive a negative review, reach out via email to attempt to find a solution. For quick house calls or servicing, make technicians more accountable. They are the face of your business, so be sure that they are incentivized to represent your business in the best light. In either instance, you should request feedback via email or SMS following the conclusion of business to gauge their satisfaction, and circumvent negative reviews. Signpost does this for your business, automatically
Don’t forget to check out other Contracting and Home Services posts!