Sooner or later you will get a negative review about a product or your business. If it has not already happened, you need to be ready for it when it comes. Taking care of it in a proper manner will help you overcome the potential problems that it can cause. You can prevent further problems by applying the following steps.
Take Action Quickly
Although it will require spending time watching the review sites and social media, you will find it is worth it to be able to put out any fires while they are still small. Remember that the longer it takes to respond – the more people there are that will see it and the more damage there will be to your reputation.
Because the Internet enables a quick response, you will be expected to respond quickly. Handling it right away will help you reduce further inflammatory remarks and it will show other readers that you will respond. This makes you look available and dependable.
Do not ignore it. It will look like you think the customer is unimportant and that you could care less about the problem and fixing it.
Respond with Professionalism
If the complainants’ comments stir up anger in you, be careful to not respond with similar anger. If you do, it will hurt your reputation for a long time. Instead, be professional and avoid blame. Take a little time and think about your answer before posting it online for everyone to see.
You also need to be kind and willing to admit a mistake if one has occurred. Be fair and treat that person like you want to be treated if the situation were reversed.
Aim for a Solution
Your readers are all watching to see how you are going to respond. They want to see professionalism – because they will then know that you can be trusted to solve problems responsibly and respectfully when they occur. They also want to see sincerity and that you are genuinely willing to listen.
Responding with empathy and trying to come to a solution with the irate customer can help you change the customer’s attitude toward you. You may even be able to win them over to become a faithful customer – and tell your audience how you worked with them to provide an amicable solution.
Solve It Personally
Offer to have the customer contact you offline so that you can work out an acceptable solution out of the public eye. You will need to leave contact details so that the customer can contact you and you can then provide a solution privately to the customer.
Improve the Company
Companies are not perfect and sometimes a complaint will expose a problem area that they have not handled appropriately – but needs work. When multiple reviews point to the same problem, it is something that the company needs to deal with and solve to minimize future complaints. Avoid becoming defensive about the problem. Take care of it properly and your company will grow as a result.