Any business owner knows the value of a great review. Positive reviews can help to raise awareness of your brand and business to new heights and bring in new customers.
However, when a business receives a bad review or negative comment on social media most people don’t really know how to react properly. Many, feeling that their baby is being attacked, will strike back without a moment’s thought in order to set the record straight or shut down their social media accounts in order to cut off any further pain. These are two of the worst actions to take and very likely will damage your business’ reputation more than any bad review or comment can.
Improvement Is Only A Bad Review Away
No one likes getting told they are less than great and getting a bad review or negative comment on your business social media can seem like an outright attack. But this is what doing business is about – you have to take the good with the bad and the bad often times offers much more insight than a great review ever could.
Bad reviews and negative comments offer your business the opportunity to improve by pointing out where there are weaknesses in the operation. This allows your business the ability to correct those issues and become an even better resource for its customers.
How To React Appropriately To The Negative
#1: Calm Down
Any time a review, negative comment, or customer criticizes your business and it causes you to want to retaliate before thinking, take a step back and walk away from the computer. Let yourself calm down and really think about what they are saying.
They are not saying you or your business is the worst (even if that’s the exact words they use). If they are a legitimate customer, what they are saying is your business failed to meet their needs and expectations. They are asking you to do better for them. As a business, that is your job! It’s to meet your customers needs and expectations and if you really want to be an overachiever it’s to EXCEED your customers needs and expectations. That’s what your customers pay you for!
#2: Apologize, Ask Questions, And Listen
After you’ve calmed down, the next step is to apologize to the customer about not meeting their needs and expectations. Tell them you would like to know more information about their situation so you can make things right for them.
This is when you take the conversation offline by asking the customer to contact you or the appropriate associate at their convenience so that the situation can be remedied. Make sure you provide your name, the name of the person they need to speak to (if it’s not you), and the phone number or email to contact.
Keep your response short, sweet, and on point. The standard advice is that this reply should be no more than three sentences. You want to apologize, tell them you want to make it right, and give them the information they need to contact the person who is going to help them. No more, no less!
#3: Do The Right Thing
Now, of course, once the customer contacts your business this is where you must shine. If the customer has a valid gripe, which most do, your business needs to do everything it can to make it right by them.
Always remember that your customers can go anywhere to get the services you offer but they chose your business to give their hard-earned money to. They deserve to get great quality and service every time.
#4: Ask For A New Review
Once you do right by the customer and they are happy, politely ask them if they would kindly update their review. Most review sites don’t allow the bad review to come off but many allow the reviewer to either update their bad review or write a new review to counter the bad one.
If, for some reason, the customer refuses or just doesn’t update their bad review don’t despair. There are other ways to get that bad review from generating attention.
How To Get More Positive Reviews
Having a few negative or less than stellar reviews of your business is nothing to worry about. If you’re in business there will always be someone that you can’t satisfy. That’s just the nature of business and life in general.
One of the best ways to reduce the impact of a negative review is to get more positive reviews from your customers. The more positive reviews you receive the deeper the negative ones get buried. All you have to do to get more positive reviews is ask for them. Here are a few easy ways to do that.
Ask when the customer has just purchased a product or service. Everyone is happiest when they’ve just purchased something new. Get them at that high point. Having a reminder to write a review printed on the customer’s receipt, delivery slip, or giving them a card with the information on how to write a review are idea ways to get more reviews from them.
Ask every time you email your customers. Chances are if they are on your email list they like your products and services. Remind them of how to leave a review and ask them if they would be so kind as to do that for your business. Most people will do it if reminded enough times.
Ask your social media followers. Again, people usually only follow those brands and services that they like. Posting a reminder from time to time on social media to leave a positive review will get more people to do so.
Ask your customers to check-in. Most people have smart phones with apps downloaded of their favorite social media platforms. Many of these platforms have the ability for people to check-in to a place of business. Gently remind your customers to check-in when they are at your place of business. Posting check-in stickers on doors and business cards will also remind them to check-in. When a person checks-in to a place of business most social media platforms will ask them to review their visit. If you’ve provided an outstanding experience for them they will more than likely give a great review.
What To Do About Negative Nellies and Internet Trolls
If you’ve been on social media long enough you know that there are some people on there that only want to stir things up. Either they are a person who just likes to gripe no matter what you do to try to rectify the situation or they aren’t even customers. These types of people are called Negative Nellies or Internet Trolls.
They take pleasure in getting a reaction from whoever they can and social media is a great platform that provides a huge audience for them. The more attention the better.
Here are a few methods for dealing with these types of people on social media.
Respond directly, politely, and succinctly. Follow all of #2 above – apologize, ask questions, and listen. If they refuse to take the conversation offline and continue with the negative banter online, do not respond any further. You’ve offered them the first step of the solution and everything they need to get started. Now it’s their turn to take the appropriate action.
Ignore them. Not every negative review needs an answer. If it’s apparent that the review is written by a troll or someone looking for attention, ignore them. If a review is totally off subject, there’s no name or photo, or you are positive this person has never interacted with your business then act like it doesn’t even exist because, in reality, it doesn’t. Your real customers will know when a negative review is authentic or not so don’t worry about these. Just let it go.
Block or report the offender. When it becomes apparent that this person is just someone who wants to stir things up there are several things you can do to mitigate any possible damage they might cause.
First, if the person continues to cause issues, begins to bully, or harass, you can report the person to the security division of the social media platform. This will open a review and the security team will decide if the person should be banned from the platform.
Second, you can block them from your social media page. All platforms have a way of removing people like this from your page. This will stop them from being able to comment or even see your page any longer.
When To Get Help
Let’s face it, running a business is hard and there are so many moving pieces that it’s hard to keep up with them all. Social media is usually one of those pieces that frequently gets pushed to the side when there’s so much going on.
However, social media is a very important part of your businesses’ marketing plan and shouldn’t be pushed aside like the red-headed stepchild. Always remember that you don’t have to be the master of all things. It’s alright to ask for help. There are Social Media Management services that can do all this for you. If you’re not an expert in social media it’s usually best to leave it to the experts.
NetSource Media has a team of experts to help you with all your business needs from website development to social media management. Give us a call today at (800) 709-3240 or click here to email us to get started.