Picture this – you’re scrolling through the list of customer reviews you received for your franchise and a negative one pops out at you. Your first reaction is probably to delete the review, right? Don’t panic. Receiving negative reviews can actually build credibility for your franchise.
Below we outlined five simple steps to help you overcome negative reviews and strengthen relationships with customers.
1. Be Aware. Chances are if you have customers or clients, then they are talking about you. One of those formats may be in an online review. Review your Google+ and Bing Places listings regularly for new reviews. Additionally, do a search online for your business name, plus the word “review” or “reviews”. You may be surprised to find that you have some amazing, confidence-boosting reviews out there. But you may also find a couple negative reviews about your business that you were unaware of.
2. React. So, you found a negative review about your business? Do not let it sit there in hopes of it disappearing. Trust me, it won’t. If someone left a negative review about your business they are looking for a reaction, and may not stop posting the review to various outlets until they get one. That being said, react thoughtfully and calmly to the situation. Post a reply on the same thread they posted the review, if possible. Make sure to call out specific details of the situation, and explain what you are doing to resolve the issue.
3. A Personal Touch. Now that you have publicly addressed the issue, reach out to the customer personally. They need to know that you care about them, and not just your reputation. Let them vent. Apologize. Confirm your resolution is adequate from their perspective. Not only will this most likely diffuse their “angry posting” about your business, this may even help you gain them as a repeat customer in the future.
4. Make A Request. Once the issue has been resolved, contact the customer. Let them know that you have taken care of everything, but don’t forget to ask the following:
a. Have I resolved the issue(s)? They will most likely say yes. If not, then start resolving.
b. Were there any other outlets the review was posted to so that I may post our resolution? This goes back to Step 1 and 2.
c. Would you be willing to provide a testimonial or review about your experience with our issue resolution? A bad review doesn’t always mean a customer won’t come back. If they see the business is willing to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently, it may even improve the situation. Everyone makes mistakes, right?
5. Get More Reviews! If someone is researching your business online, does it look better to have 1 negative review and 3 positive reviews? Or a handful of negative reviews and 300 positive ones? Ask for the review each and every time you provide your product or service so you can start diluting those negative reviews.
Liked this blog post? Check out our previous post about leveraging marketing automation tools to help you easily integrate ratings and reviews into your site.