If you've been running a business long enough, chances are you've received a few bad reviews, either by word of mouth or through the media. Now that the Internet exists, the negativity has new outlets. Social media and websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor provide a different venue for reviews, and those negative ones can be detrimental for your business. However, they also present you with a way to counteract that adversity. For suggestions on how to respond to your reviewers, check out the tips below:
1. Don't ignore it
The worst thing you can do with negative feedback is ignore it, according to Entrepreneur. You need to acknowledge that it exists and then respond to it. While a bad review won't make or break your business, if enough of them go unanswered, it will affect your business banking and you'll be in trouble. Customers want to know that you care. Taking the time to respond will make your reviewer happy and will promote future business.
If a customer had a bad experience at your company or with your product, replying is the best thing you can do. When it comes to apologizing, make sure you cite specific examples from the review or ask for clarification, Business News Daily explained. Your reviewers want to feel heard and personalizing a reply will let them know that you received their complaint. If they can see you care, they also might be willing to give you a second chance.
3. Stay positive
Never, ever respond to negativity with more negativity. Not only will that not solve anything, it will look terrible to any potential future clients. Before replying, take a moment to collect yourself – you don't want your anger to seep through into your response, Forbes said. Consider what your reviewer said and formulate a response that both addresses it and shows your more positive characteristics. Consumers are looking for "humanity and a genuine response," Shama Kabani, author and CEO of The Marketing Zen Group, told the source. Don't be afraid to insert some personality in there as well, since customers like to see that there's an actual person behind the technology.
While negative reviews are never fun to receive, they don't necessarily have to be a bad thing. Feedback gives you the chance to connect with consumers and create a conversation. By replying with a response that shows you appreciate their assessment, you'll stand a better chance of getting return customers.