It does not matter what kind of business you are in. Whether set on brick and mortar or an ecommerce business; small town company or nationwide conglomerate. It doesn’t matter. This is because social media has made it possible for just one disgruntled customer to have so much impact on your business through negative comment(s) posted online.
Now, the big question isn’t whether this will happen or not, but rather when it does happen, how to handle such a situation. So, here are some tips on how to address negative feedbacks from customers below:
1. Try to resolve the issue directly with the concerned customer
Once you are able to know the person’s identity. That is of the customer complaining, you should try and make peace with this person. This should be your initial course of action. Doing otherwise by going to the online-site where the rants or negative reviews were made will only probably place you at the mercy of this website. Luckily, the issue with this customer will be quickly resolved by simply offering a dinner free of charge to this person (assuming you are a restaurant), or a bonus airline miles/reward points for free (assuming you are a credit card firm).
2. Do not resort to posting fake comments or reviews
Never try posting fake positive comments or reviews in order to offset bad ones. You will likely be discovered and the fallout might be very damaging. Sometimes review sites will use tricks such as IP address tracking in order to discover when an individual is actually stuffing several positive reviews for the same business. And then punish erring ones.
3. Admit errors and mistakes
More often than not, correcting an identified problem regarding a comment made by an aggrieved customer and owing up to the mistake or error made can do wonders. It is just natural for dispositions to change when a business or company says it is sorry for whatever mistakes or errors it has done in the past. This is especially true if this was done even before there was any public outcry concerning the aggravation.
4. Do not always delegate
It is easy to pass any issue regarding negative customer reviews to an employee when you are the business owner or top executive working for a big corporation. This may make sense sometimes, but it is not always the case. There are times when getting into the fray of things is best accomplished by the owner of the business or, in the case of a large corporation, a top management executive.
Take the example of the president of a particular firm making a call to an aggrieved client who had made a totally negative review of their services. This 5-minute call made by the company president impressed the concerned client in such a way that this person voluntarily changed the post and praised the company instead. That is what a 5-minute call from a top-notch executive or business owner can do in such a situation.
5. Turn negative comments and feedback around to serve you
Rather than seeing negative reviews and comments as a death sentence or something equally as bad, this should be a sort of litmus test of how one’s business is doing when it comes to customer service. It is an opportunity to address issues or problems that come up by finding solutions to them.
6. Ask to tell your own side of the story
Finally, if all options have been exhausted with the bad review still there, then you should politely request from the website where such comments or remarks have been made for inclusion of your own remarks alongside. The least this will likely do is to show those who view such content that your business is actually concerned about customers.
About the Author
Davis Miller is one of the self made entrepreneurs and owns a well established company. His company is a market research company which has recently done a market research los angeles brand iq.