Bad reviews can fee like a crushing blow. It’s easy to feel defensive, panicked, and angry when you get one.
Breathe. I’m going to teach you how to respond to bad reviews in a way that lets you come out of the situation smelling like roses.
Note that nearly every review site lets you do two important things. First, they let you flag fraudulent reviews, such as the nasty fake reviews that a jealous competitor might leave. Second, they let you respond to bad reviews.
You should also be aware that a few bad reviews can actually help you make more sales. Why? Because customers trust all the 5 star reviews a lot more when there are a couple of disgruntled customers out there.
A real business is imperfect and is expected to make mistakes. So a bad review or two lets the customer know that they’re getting a real picture of what your business is like.
Now that you know that bad reviews can be a positive, you just have to know what to say in order to turn them into an even stronger selling point.
First, thank the customer for giving you feedback. Good or bad, the customer took time out of his or her day to alert you to a problem rather than simply going to someone else.
Second, apologize that the customer had a bad experience with you. Avoid the urge to get defensive about it. Every business has a bad day – maybe the customer caught you on one of yours.
Then, you can explain your position and/or propose a solution. For example:
“We’ve addressed this slow service complaint by hiring additional wait staff. Give us a call. We invite you to stop and see the difference this has made!”
This shows that you are interested in improving your business and that you care whether or not your customers have a good experience.
That specific customer may or may not return. But every other customer who visits your page will know that you run the type of small business that actually cares about customers.
This is so rare that this demonstration alone will make you look great to anyone who is thinking about working with your business.
Remember, nobody expects you to be perfect. They just expect you to deliver the best service you possibly can and to keep improving all the time.
When you improve, something else happens too. You’ll probably generate even more positive reviews, which means that a bad review will eventually get pushed lower and lower in the review results. That’s all the more reason not to treat bad reviews like they’re the end of the world.