The Internet is a free-for-all commentary, and some comments that are posted online aren’t always the most positive. Customers put their negative experiences into word form to post a review on your Google business profile, Yelp page, Facebook page, or mention you on Twitter, for the public to see.
People write online reviews to not only voice their opinions, but they also want the company they patronized to know about their complaint and to address it, and for potential customers to be aware of their experience in the hopes that it doesn’t happen again. Rather than ignore the complaint, it’s better to follow through with a thoughtful response. It gives you a chance to actively engage with your customers and identify areas of improvement.
Having a reputation management strategy is a great way to know how to respond to negative commentary and how to handle a crisis when it arises.
Here are a few things you want to keep in mind when it comes to responding to online reviews.
- Write a quick response. When you quickly respond to a negative review, it shows the customer that you weren’t ignoring their review, and it shows potential customers that you care about your business.
- Keep it simple. Avoid diving into details, such as names and personal information. Keeping your response brief can help avoid problems down the line. A simple apology for your customer’s experience and leaving your general contact information is an appropriate response.
- Stay positive. Responding negatively to a negative review only adds fuel to the fire. Writing a polite and positive response is a great opportunity for other customers viewing your listings that you can handle issues in a mature way.
- Make it personal. Frame your response to make the customer feel acknowledged and follow up with them about their experience, and ask for direct feedback on areas of improvement. Take the conversation offline by directly reaching out to them depending on the scenario.
- Know that the customer is always right. Even if the customer is incorrect, it’s always important to not be defensive.