With more and more customers turning to review sites such as Facebook and Yelp, small businesses are bound to get a negative review at some point in time. A negative review definitely isn’t something to take lightly, but it also isn’t a make or break point for your business. The way you respond to those negative reviews, however, might be.
What to Do:
When you find a negative review online about your business, your first instinct might be to jump to the defense of your company, products and employees. A negative review is not the end of the world, however, and if you prove that you can respond to negative feedback in a professional, diplomatic name, that reflects more on you and your company name than that negative review might.
Another key point is to respond to every negative post as soon as you see it posted. Remember not to be defensive or rude, and if need be take a few minutes to compose yourself before writing a response, however if you respond promptly and properly, it at least leaves a good impression of your brand name.
It’s important to apologize for a bad experience any customer posts about your business, and be understanding of their problem. Make sure your response is personal and customized. Anything generic and vague might show you’re not concerned about what your customers have to say about your business. And although it might be offensive that someone criticized the business you’ve put so much work into, it is important to listen to feedback that customers provide. Let them know that you heard their opinion and are looking to fix the problem.
What Not to Do:
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the negative review. This sends a message that you aren’t concerned about your customers and aren’t willing to fix things within your business. Not responding allows the negative review to stand and represent your company, whereas if you choose to respond in a polite and professional manner, your response will show your attempt to rectify the situation.
Remember to not get defensive and start an argument with the customer. You will come across poorly to other potential customers, and it will seem like you are not capable of handling criticism. All in all the best advice when dealing with a negative online review is to remain calm and respectful and remember, “the customer is always right.” Whether you agree with the customer’s critique or not, it is your responsibility to treat them respectfully and respond in a proper manner.
About Heidi Jaenicke
Heidi Jaenicke joined the BizIQ team as Marketing Assistant in June of 2016. With a background in journalism and a passion for small business, Heidi will be a regular contributor to the IQNews blog and social media.