Nothing can drive a business owner crazy like a bad review of their business online on platforms like Google, Yelp and even Facebook. It will keep you up at night and cause you to have all kinds of emotional responses. You’ll want to yell, be negative back, leave your own bad review, beg for the review to be removed and find ways to hide the review. In plane terms, getting a bad review sucks and all business owners hate to contend with them. However, there are good aspects of a bad review as a business owner, because they give you a baseline to make changes for customers in the future. And there is a good and positive way to respond to negative feedback that make your business look better than competitors. Here is how to respond to a bad review of your business online.
Understand What A Bad Review Means
A bad review sucks, but they can also be a blessing and sometimes a bad review isn’t even what it seems. Here are some things to remember about the negative feedback you receive online:
- Don’t take reviews personally – A bad review is not something you should take personally, even though you might be tempted to. It’s not easy, especially because you put so much of yourself into your business, but you must remember that it’s not a review on you, but on your business.
- Consider the ratio – For every bad review as your business grows, unless you are doing something horrible, they are usually exponentially dwarfed by positive reviews.
- Not every business is right for every customer – The reality is that even if you would like it to be, your business isn’t going to be right for every person that uses it and that’s okay. You can only be the best for so many people. The sooner someone realizes you’re not the right fit, the better for both parties.
- Any review of your business is a blessing to your business – A good or a bad review is still meaningful feedback. One vocal customer can represent up to 26 other silent customers, so you can gauge what’s working and what’s not.
- Customers are entitled to a bad day and sometimes they are just being rude – We have all had bad days and ended up being rude or aggressive to someone else. Sometimes bad reviews are born out of really crappy days. Good leaders know how to respond to rude people and to look through aggressive behavior to figure out the root of the problem.
As you consider these things, really engage with the bad review. What can you learn from someone’s feedback and what changes can you make to better serve your customers.
Determine What Changes Need To Be Made
Bad reviews act as feedback for your company and if they are constructive, they might just help you to make decisions that impact how you do business in the future. Every business makes mistakes, but the businesses that make an effort to recover from their mistakes might actually build a quality relationship with a customer that was previously upset.
As you decide how to respond to the complaint from the customer, apply an emotionally intelligent approach. Let the customer lay out their complaints. Try to read through the bad review and understand their problem with empathy. When you understand the issue, make sure to resolve the problem at hand quickly. Furthermore, for the future, what went wrong with the business process that allowed this mistake to happen? No one is to blame, but perhaps there is a bubble in the workflow that you were unaware of previously. Listening to customer complaints and bad reviews gives you the opportunity to fix these issues you weren’t familiar with.
Respond Using Emotional Intelligence
Now, when it comes to responding, you have to consider the review and the effect that the person was trying to accomplish. If the person wrote a comment simply to troll or to be rude, there is often not a reason to respond. However, if a person has written a genuine bad review with complaints about the service they received, there is no reason why you should respond in anger, frustration or blame unless you want really bad optics or want to look like you don’t care. A response to a bad review is an opportunity to listen to your customers and solve their problems while apologizing for their feelings of frustration, but it’s also an opportunity for other customers to see that you stand by your business, even when it makes mistakes. Which business would you trust more? The one that immediately blames all issues and problems on their customers without empathy? Or the business that takes responsibility for the issue at hand without worrying about who to blame and just solves the problem? People are a lot more likely to trust the latter. It takes emotional intelligence to respond to an issue like a bad review online and if you have had issues with managing your emotions when you get a negative review, you might need a little emotional intelligence boost. Luckily, the CEO of HJR Global, Harrison Rogers, is an expert in the emotional intelligence arena. Check out this special offer from HJR Global below: