Having to respond to bad reviews online can be dreadful but it doesn’t have to be an anxiety-filled experience. Take a look at our tips on how you can turn things around.
- Own up to your mistakes.
If you know your establishment made a mistake and have verified it with the staff, apologize. Most customers only want to hear an apology from your business if a mistake was committed. Did your restaurant under-cook the veggies served to the customer? Say so. Is the customer wrong? Enlighten him or her on how you operate. This information will make your customer understand what truly happened.
Remember, you are not only explaining your side to the person who posted the negative review, you are also talking to other readers who will take a look at your response.
- If the review is nasty and the reviewer didn’t hold back, don’t hold back either.
This doesn’t mean you should be spewing expletives, it only means that you need to defend yourself from an attack. If you firmly believe that you provided better service than as described in the review, tell the reviewer about your processes. Include, for example, the great lengths you take to ensure that your customers are comfortable or talk about your procedures in cleaning your equipment and the like. This gives you a chance to show others that you are thorough and that you pay attention to the needs of your customers.
Make sure that you are still polite while explaining your side because other people will be reading your response. What you type can either make you gain new customers or lose potential ones. While most customers don’t really mind one negative review, they will surely take a look at how you handled the situation. If you return fire, other customers will think that you are unprofessional and impolite. If you respond in a respectful manner, you can be sure that you will gain the respect of potential customers.
- Don’t be afraid to use the power of videos.
If there’s just too much to say, you can record your response through a video and post it on Youtube. This will humanize your brand and give you a chance to show how much you value your customers.
- Be prepared.
Being organized is always a great idea and if you are prepared with all types of responses, you’d be able to respond better. Plan your responses and organize your thoughts on how to handle the negative review. While preparing review responses is encouraged, this doesn’t mean that you should have the same response every time you see a negative or a positive review. Be prepared with a script but be sure to tweak it for each customer. This will make your customers feel that they are communicating with an actual human being.
- Resolve the issue.
Don’t just respond and apologize, offer a solution. If it is a shipping problem, for example, you can take track the order to see what happened and then type a response. This will give you a better understanding of what transpired and make it easier for you to find a solution. Offering a solution to a dissatisfied customer can diffuse the situation. In fact, the customer might even delete his negative review once the problem is resolved.