Finally! You have a notification or email indicating that you’ve just received a review. As you’re taking the steps to open it, you start to think… “I hope it’s a good one!” or “It must be from that customer I just had – she was so happy!”
You open the page, read it, and your heart sinks.
A negative review.
RED ALERT. DELETE. DESTROY THE EVIDENCE.
Before you do anything rash, stop. Just stop and follow these steps to (positively) respond to a negative review.
- Recall the experience. A customer has taken the time, and felt motivated enough, to provide a review of your business or service. Take a moment to recall the customer and use this as an opportunity to improve a system, process, or service. While the customer may not be 100% in the right, there is undoubtedly a middle ground where the truth can reveal an opportunity for improvement. Don’t miss out on that opportunity.
- Step back. Now that you’ve considered the situation, take a break. Don’t respond immediately. I’m sure we’ve all had an experience where, in hindsight, our initial reaction to a situation was both inappropriate and exaggerated. Time provides rational insight that you will find incredibly valuable in a situation like this. Take some time to clear your mind and, after reflecting, come back to your response. It will be easier to draft a considerate reply with fresh thoughts and emotions.
- Respond. You most definitely need to respond. Carefully and thoughtfully consider how to balance respecting the experience and feelings of your customer with a “defense” of your organization.
NOTE: your “defense” is not an argument. Instead:
- Apologize. Let them know you are remorseful because a valued customer had a negative experience. Unequivocally, with no strings attached. You are simply sorry.
- Highlight your strengths. Communicate a value that your company strives to uphold that is relevant to the situation. Underscore how your goal is to provide a quality experience for each customer and how you work towards accomplishing that goal.
- Stay positive. Always. You know the old saying, “you catch more bees with honey.” Well, it’s true and it never helps to bring more negativity to a situation. If you take no other piece of advice from this blog, please always stay positive.
- Be genuine. I’m sure you never set out to provide poor, or less than stellar, service. You can reflect those sentiments in your response to a negative review by being genuine in your efforts to correct a situation.
Wishing you many 5-star reviews!