For a lot of people, their business is their baby; their pride and joy. So, anyone that would have something negative to say about their baby would surely feel the rather of a thousand volcanos. But, alas, you can’t exactly let that show. As a business owner you should be professional at all times, in all situations with your customers, even when they’re being less than cordial.
Below are four tips for how to respond (or not respond) to negative online reviews.
Know how to manage bad online reviews
If you’ve ever owned a business, at some point you’ve likely gotten it: the explosive customer whose first attempt at resolving an issue starts with, “I will sue you!” or “I will reverse the charge on my credit card!” Customer conflict is the worst. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for individuals to deal with conflict or a miscommunication, by making threats. For any business owner who has been on the receiving end of this, then perhaps this can be considered therapeutic… yes, we feel your pain.
Let us help guide any business owner that may be thinking of crossing this “professional courtesy boundary.” Trust us, you don’t want to go down the road because once you do, there’s no going back.
Cultivate support and customer service
A huge key to success in mitigating negative online reviews is to try and avoid them altogether. This is where great customer service comes into play. You should want your customer service to reflect a “We are real people, we are flexible with our clients, and always reasonable and professional” kind of attitude. If there is “karma” in the business world, you should want to earn the good kind! If you strive to provide the best customer service possible, you will provide the least amount of room for online complaints.
Keep calm and carry on
Some business owners make the mistake of seeing a negative review and rarely providing time for a response or rebuttal, before making illogical or unreasonable threats. Usually, this response is brought on by consumers with this mentality: “because I’m upset, everyone in the entire company better drop what they’re doing and respond to me now.” Business owners who are inexperienced, emotional, and reactive will respond to conflict by quickly becoming heated. When you get online reviews that are not only negative, but just down right rude, never respond back with animosity or sarcasm. Get to the root of the negative review or complaint and address that professionally.
Don’t sweat negative online reviews
Negative online reviews are inevitable. They’re going to happen, and it’s better that you, as a business owner, realize that now than to think it could never happen to you. Don’t sweat negative reviews. Some people are just never satisfied, no matter how hard you try to please them. However, if the review or complaint addressed an issue directly related to your service, don’t use foul language or unprofessional communication.