You’ve spent a great deal of time and effort training your employees, and you’re proud of the culture you’ve created within your company. Unfortunately, one day during a transaction with a customer, a misunderstanding occurs, and the customer leaves feeling unsatisfied with the level of service he received. Before you know it, you’ve lost half a star rating on your Google business page because the unhappy customer left a negative review. Here are three things you should do immediately.
- Read to understand.
Take your time when reading the review. You want to understand your customer’s point of view. By putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, you’ll reply empathetically instead of defensively.
- Do your research.
Before responding to the review, do some digging internally to find out exactly what occurred when the customer interacted with your company. The more informed you are about the incident the better.
- Respond timely.
Now that you’ve had the opportunity to gather information, it’s time to respond to the customer. Begin by acknowledging the customer’s experience. Apologize, even if no one at your company made a mistake or acted inappropriately. Next, assure the customer that you have standards in place that you expect all employees to uphold. Last, invite the customer to return to your company.
Negative reviews can do real damage to your company’s reputation. It’s imperative that you address each one. According to statistics provided by BrightLocal, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a company and, of those, 97% will take the time to specifically read the company’s responses to reviews. Additionally, 84% of consumers think that reviews older than three months aren’t relevant, and 48% of consumers only read reviews written in the past two weeks.
Applying these three steps when you’re dealing with a negative review is a productive way to respond effectively and maintain your online reputation.
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Amide Jean is a spring intern at Axia Public Relations and a communication student studying at the University of North Florida. She is detail-oriented and passionate about exceeding expectations and goals. Amide joined Axia in January 2020.