How to Handle Bad Reviews
Everybody’s been there, you work day and night for your business then bam! A 1-star review pops up. This is most business owners worst nightmare and it’s beyond difficult not to take it personally. So how do you spring back from a bad review(s)?
First thing, step away from the keyboard!
This is the hardest part, your business baby is being attacked and you want to defend it but lashing out in anger will always make things worse. As prospective customer or clients, we often look at reviews to judge how likely we are to buy from you but we also look at how you respond to reviews. Angry rebuttals that are rude and put all the blame on the customer are just as likely to turn away new customers. Take a few minutes to think about what has been said, what the situation is and what you can do to help.
Next, think of a solution that helps everybody.
This isn’t always possible, sometimes reviews will be downright nasty and personal but most of the time, it’s because the customer genuinely feels wronged. If there’s a solution offer it, whether that be a replacement product, a discount of future products or simply an explanation of what went wrong. More often than not the solutions simple, customer’s angry because of a faulty product, offer to replace it free of charge. If the solution isn’t so simple it may be worth discussing this with the customer privately and figuring something out, even if it’s just an explanation.
The final step, Reply appropriately!
Once you know what route you’re going to go down, it’s time to actually write your reply. Always be polite but you don’t always have to say sorry, especially if it’s something out with your control. If a hotel guest is moaning that the weather was terrible you don’t need to say sorry for that and if you do it can look like you’re pandering. Instead, try to take a lighthearted tone and suggest what indoor activities you have to offer if they come back. It’s all a balancing act of sorting out a solution and having confidence in your product. The customer isn’t always right but it’s still up to you to offer a solution.
Going forward, come up with a plan. It doesn’t need to be anything special, just come up with a few different scenarios that your customers might complain about and figure out in advance how you would deal with it. If you get a complaint that you didn’t think about, add it to your list afterwards, along with how you dealt with it, so you can make to process smoother in the future.
Whatever you do, don’t do this…