Negative business reviews can severely damage your brand and therefore should not be taken lightly. More and more people these days will choose a company based on what they read on popular review sites like Yelp or the BBB. One bad review can pull your star ratings down and cost you thousands of dollars in lost business. So, what are a few simple steps you can take to address negative reviews by focusing on the positives?
Step 1: Acknowledge the complaint
It takes effort to stop what you’re doing and find the time to write a review. So, for the person to invest any time at all into expressing how they feel about your business means that they care. Sure, there are some people out there who simply just want to do harm to others for selfish reasons, but chances are they are in the minority. Therefore, ignoring a negative review doesn’t do any good. It might just encourage the reviewer to do even more damage to your brand. Plus, others who see the review may wonder why you haven’t taken the time to do something about the complaint. The point is, unaddressed reviews do more harm to you than the person posting the review. Hence, it’s in your best interest to acknowledge the complaint ASAP!
Step 2: Apologies
We’re all human beings! That means we all make mistakes. The best thing to do is apologize for whatever account the customer has experienced, even if it’s not how you perceived it. Lashing out at customers is a sure-fire way to lose business and damage your reputation. Also, keep in mind that an apology is not an automatic admission of guilt.
Telling the customer you’re sorry and that you want to ensure the best possible experience for them will pay dividends with the customers and onlookers. Take the time to reinforce your brand’s customer service values and let them know you’re going to correct the problem ASAP.
Step 3: Solve the Problem
A negative review presents you with an opportunity to show real customer service skills. And, if you can do so effectively, it might end up enhancing, rather than detracting from, your brand. Again, an apology isn’t an automatic admission of guilt. Your job is to take the high road and let the customer know that you care about their experience and you want them to become a repeat shopper or guest. Use creative ways to make things right with the customer. Also, sometimes asking the customer how you can make things better ends up costing less than what you may have originally thought.
Step 4: Follow Up and Clean the Slate
One goal should be for the customer to remove the negative review or to write a follow-up review that is a more favorable reflection of your establishment. If you’ve apologized in earnest and corrected the issue, reach out to the customer offline. See if they will clean the slate and perhaps remove the negative review. In most cases, they’ll remove the negative review on their own before you ask. Or, they may give you more feedback or even change the review to a more positive one.
Step 5: Change the narrative
Negative reviews also provide a chance for you to reiterate what makes your company great. Saying something like “We’ve been in business for 15 years, and maintain 99 percent satisfaction scores from our clients” can immediately build credibility. Emphasize that you strive for excellence and you’re committed to first class service. It’s perfectly fine to promote your value proposition here, even if some of the traits are aspirational.
About LTC Language Solutions:
LTC Language Solutions is a full-service language company providing state-of-the-art language solutions for local and national companies, organizations, government agencies, and individuals since 1993. We provide language training, cross-cultural training, interpretation, translation, repatriation, language assessments and interpreter and people skills training. LTC has gained a reputation for high-quality, customized services provided through long-term relationships, having some of the same clients for over 25 years.