What To Do With Bad Reviews
Recently, a client asked me what to do with a bad review his business received on Yelp. Yelp is a social media review site (similar to Foursquare and Angie’s List), where users can leave reviews on just about any business, with a physical location. I’ve compiled a few ideas on how to tackle the bad reviews problem.
We live in an age where consumers are savvy and do their homework. Consumers read reviews by others, to establish a sense of comfort and trust for themselves. The power has shifted from the business to the consumer. It is imperative for a business, to engage in social review sites, for growth.
Many business owners seem apprehensive to appear on review sites such as Yelp (or Angie’s List, Foursquare), due to the negative impact bad reviews can have. Their apprehension is justified. Review sites have a huge impact on consumer views of your business. Just as much, as good reviews can increase your business by anywhere from 5-10%, bad reviews can negatively impact you. If you conduct a business synced with your policies, then you need not worry about negative reviews. Bad reviews, however can be an opportunity. In fact, you will see number of your reviews increase your clientele, if you have a strong customer service policy, along with an effective content marketing strategy .
What to do if you do get a bad review?
1. Address the problem. Contact the reviewer and ask them what happened and how you can resolve the issue. Many times, the customer only wants to be heard and the business to acknowledge their mistake. Sincerely listen to the problem, without being defensive.
2. Offer a resolution. Ask the reviewer what it would take for them to change their perception about the business. Sound sincere, be kind, be genuinely concerned about the reviewer and their problem. If the problem was a member of your staff, ensure the customer that you will reprimand them, or offer an apology from your staff member. Further, make sure that your staff follows strict customer service rules and respectfully addresses all your customers.
3. Offer an incentive. If the problem is not reversible, then offer an incentive for the client to return and try your services once more. A gift voucher is a good idea in cases like this, or you can offer personal attention to their next visit. People want to be appreciated. It’s as simple as that. At the conclusion of their follow up visit, if they were happy, kindly ask them to update their review.
What NOT to do if you get a bad review? The big No No’s
1. Ignore the problem. Other people will read the review and make a judgement about your business. Keep in mind, if you have one bad review among six or more, readers are intelligent enough to recognize a fluke. However, if your negative reviews are 25% or more of your feedback, readers will recognize a pattern.
2. Attack the reviewer. NO NO NO NO NO! I cannot stress this one enough. Do not turn the problem to the customer, especially if you are commenting publicly. Even if you may be in the right, all new readers will perceive, is that you are a hostile business owner.
Here is an example, of a hair stylist in Los Angeles, receiving a bad review for providing an offer and later renegading on it. Take a look at the customer’s complaint, outlining in detail her experience. Next, look at the business owners angry response-he starts attacking the reviewee, on a personal level. The review and response was long, so I only put a clip of each. (To view the pictures in a larger size, click on them). The business owner is on the left, the customer’s review is the right image.
Addressing a bad review is an opportunity to build a positive image of your business and you, the business owner. In an age where consumers have many choices, you should stand out and there is no better way to do that, than to show them that you appreciate their business.
Would you ever make an appointment at that business? No? Why is that? Share your views in the comment section below.