It’s very easy to take bad reviews too personally. And dealing with a bad review can also be aggravating. You can likely think of hundreds of other things you’d rather deal with than bad reviews.
But not everyone will leave a positive review. It just comes with the territory.
As a business owner, you take an immense amount of pride in what you do, which makes it easy to take it personally when you receive a bad review. You want to stand up for your company! But before you respond to a bad review, take a moment to collect yourself. Or, better yet, if you trust someone in your company to handle the reviews, have that individual respond instead.
But the way you respond is very important. In fact, you can use a bad review as a great opportunity to demonstrate that your brand will do the right thing.
Whether or not the mistake was your fault, you should handle a negative review appropriately. Use the following steps to turn a wrong into a right.
With both positive and negative reviews, respond right away. An immediate response shows that you care about your customers.
If appropriate, apologize and show sympathy: “We’re sorry! This is not our usual quality, and your results should have not taken so long.”
Even if it was definitely not your business’s fault, at least acknowledge the problem. Say something along the lines of, “Your radon tests should not have taken so long to arrive. l will look into this specific situation.” or “Your technician should not have been late to provide your mitigation quote. I will look into this specific situation.”
Even if you know what happened, offer to learn more about the situation. Remember: Most of the people who read reviews of your business, including your response to negative comments, may be your future customers.
Take your response offline, and don’t start or carry on an online long discussion or “war.” Your future customers won’t care about the discussion. Give the customer who complained your contact information so they can reach out to you. Here’s an example of what NOT to do.
I don’t imagine that the customer, or any future customer who reads this discussion, will return to this company. This is a very harsh example, but you get the point.
If a customer is unhappy with the quality of a test, detector, or service, remember a few important points when responding.
- Even if you feel as if you are being trolled, understand that you CAN resolve this issue. How you respond to trolls or legitimate complaints can make or break your online reputation.
- If it turns out the mistake was your business’s fault, use it as a moment to teach a team member. However, never use a bad review as a way to shame an employee.
- As harsh as it may sound, your customers typically don’t care about the reasons why your product was slow or technician wasn’t thorough. To them, it just sounds like excuses. Avoid trying to supply reasons as to “why” it was bad.
How to respond to late product arrival
Hello, [INSERT NAME]. We’re very sorry that your [INSERT ITEM] was shipped to you [PROBLEM HERE]. We appreciate you and the support you give us by ordering our product. We understand that this should not have happened, and we would love to correct the situation for you. Could you please email us at [INSERT EMAIL]?
How to respond to poor installation
Hello, [INSERT NAME]. We’re very sorry that your installation didn’t return the results we discussed. We value our customers very much, and we’re sorry that in this instance we did not make you feel valued. Would you please email us at [insert email]? We would love to resolve this issue. Thank you!
Add this statement if the customer complained about your service causing them to arrive late for a scheduled appointment.
We respect your time, and we’re extremely sorry we caused this delay.
How to respond to lack of communication
Hello, [INSERT NAME]. We’re very sorry that your [PROBLEM HERE] wasn’t handled in a prompt manner. We appreciate you and the support you give us by hiring our team. We understand that this should not have happened, and we would love to correct the situation for you. Could you please email us at [INSERT EMAIL]?