Now that your Google local business is listed on Google, you feel that you are now visible. But the truth is that you are more vulnerable as well. This is because a customer that is unhappy with your services will leave a negative review faster than a happy customer will leave a positive review.
Until recently, an unhappy customer didn’t have avenues to shout about poor services, but the popularity of review sites has changed everything. A Disgruntled customer now has an outlet for their frustration based upon their experience.
However, you can also respond to the negative review. You need to understand that the way you respond will determine the way existing and potential customers will look at you.
To Respond, or Not to Respond?
So, when a customer posts a negative comment about your local business, what should you do – ignore it? This would be the worst decision you can ever make as a small business owner. In fact, you need to have a timely response to the negative remarks. As you plan to respond to the remark, make sure you are calm and professional in your reply.
Be Professional in Your Response
Before you do anything, you need to decide who will respond to the negative remark. It is critical that you have a suitable person responding. The person you choose needs to be knowledgeable about your company’s brand and business and will respond in an appropriate way.
This will give both you and the responder full confidence to handle the responses better.
A critical tone in the reply could give your critics bait to work with and push away the customers that are already devoted to you. You shouldn’t engage in a shouting match with the reviewer. This is because other customers are watching how you will respond to the review, and they expect you to handle the issue professionally. As you well know, the customer has nothing to lose because they can move to the next seller in line.
You can respond to an announcement about the changes you are making and then follow up on them. You can even use this as an opening to boost your offerings online by using a variety of platforms. You can decide to use a press release, a blog post, or a post on social media about business changes, upgrades etc
See it From the Reviewer’s Perspective
To respond adequately, try to think about what your customer wants from you, and what you didn’t do right. Analyze the customer from an objective point of view while trying to figure out what they are saying about your business in the comments.
Afterwards, listen to them and engage them at a personal level. Humble yourself and let them know that their opinion matters a lot.
When you encounter a negative review, you need to respond by giving your customers more value. This is because it is typical that the customers will search for more information about your company on various platforms. Make sure you write about your business on your website and your blog to establish it as a trusted source of information.
Don’t stop there, establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Provide lots of advice and tips through discussion boards, online forums and on social media. Through all this, make sure you include the name of your company and provide a link back to your website.
One of the essential elements of a successful business is creating a personal relationship with your customers. You need to make sure that the customers feel that their opinions, whether positive or negative, matter a lot and that you are listening to them. If it is a complaint, let the customer complain as much as they can.
Allow the customers to vent their frustrations fully. Through this, you will get to formulate an effective solution that will work for both of you. At this point, you need to know that you aren’t the most important person in the conversation – the customer is.
One of the worst mistakes that you can make when responding to a negative remark is to get emotional. Negative remarks can hurt your business, but this is no reason to take them personally. Don’t get into an emotional state of anger, depression or self-pity. Instead, you need to be sober and objective about the whole issue. This will enable you to tackle the problem when you are sober and not on an emotional rollercoaster.
Don’t Pass the Blame
Most times, sellers tries to play the blame game to others, a trick that always backfires. Don’t attempt to pass the blame on everyone but your business. Remember as you run around in circles, other customers are witnessing this and making conclusions.
Provide Factual Information
Facts will sell you, but lies will bring you down. Your customers will smell a lie a mile away. So, always provide factual information about the business transaction that resulted in the negative publicity. Providing false information will lead to further false assumption and embarrass you more. This is because you will come across as a business that does not know what it is talking about.
Own Up, and Apologise
You need to make sure you own up to your mistakes, and tell the customer how sorry you are. After this, you need to tell the customer how you plan to remedy the situation and make the next visit a memorable one for all customers.
Build Better Reviews
Incorporate asking for a review part of your customer service correspondence.
Dear On behalf of ........., I would like to personally thank you for your business. We appreciate the trust you place in our company and strive to achieve excellence for you and all of our customers. Your review will help others customers know what to expect if they have not purchased from us before. Please take a moment to leave a review on one of the following sites: Google Facebook Any other Review sites you have a presence on Thank you for your business, support and comments. Regards
Link Google to your Google Review Page with the direct link, make it easy for happy customers.
Read About: Building Business Reviews
Online Ownership does not typically handle review responses for businesses, we do however deal with negative review attacks as part of out Google Business Troubleshooting Service.