It happens, you get a bad review. Every company has to go through this sooner or later. And sometimes that bad review is scathing! Here's why, even though that one bad review might damage your reputation in the short term, this could be the best thing that every happened to you or your company...
WHAT NOT TO DO
First off, DON'T ignore it! Ignoring it will only make matters worse, people will think that you don't care about the person making the comments and even worse they may think you're ignoring it because everything in the comment is true.
Second, DON'T retaliate! You may feel the urge to "tell off" the person that posted such horrible things about your company or even make personal remarks about you! Now is the time to draw upon your professionalism. If you choose to "retaliate" other people reading your reviews might view you as a difficult or even rude person or company to deal with.
OK - SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
The best thing to do is keep your cool and respond in a calm and professional way. (We'll help you a little later in this article with some specifics) But why is it so important to keep your cool and respond in a professional way?
HERE'S THE BIG SECRET
Everybody's watching! Yes, that's right, while you may be responding to the individual that left you the horrible review, potentially hundreds or thousands of other people are going to ready your response. People are drawn to one-star reviews like moths to a flame. They will be fixated on your every word. All those other potential customers will make a decision on whether or not they want to do business with you based on HOW you respond to that one bad review.
SO WHAT DO YOU SAY?
Here's a step-by-step walkthrough on the proper way to respond to a bad review- First - How not to respond:
This is an actual review taken from the internet
My home warranty company sent this plumbing company out to fix our water heater. I paid the warranty company directly. My water heater wouldn't light so they found a cap on it and removed it (we just moved in). The plumber turned around and asked my Husband for $165.00 to remove the cap not knowing I already paid the home warranty company. The plumber told my warranty company that they flushed the water heater which they did NOT do. I called the plumbing company directly and spoke to some rude immature girl and told her what happened and she said "well you should have better communication with your Husband!" They are crooks. Be ware! They bill for work that they don't do and the customer service is awful!! Not to mention they showed up 3 hours late to the appointment!! I complained to the home warranty company so hopefully they won't use them anymore!
This was the response from the company
You won’t always use all of these elements in each response to a bad review,
but they are a good set of guidelines and each of your responses should
use most of them.
THIS IS THE WAY TO RESPOND TO A BAD REVIEW TO GAIN MORE CLIENTS
It’s important to keep in mind that you are not only writing this response for the current customer you area ALSO writing this for the next customers that are going to read your reviews. Everyone gets bad reviews, that’s an inescapable fact, but how you respond to them will greatly influence your potential customers to either call you or forget about you.
We’ll use this bad review and re-write the response using these key points written above.
Dear (Customer name) we apologize that you had this unfortunate incident, we wish it didn’t’ happen at all, and we appreciate that you’ve taken the time to write this review. (empathy and let’s them know they’ve been heard).
It appears there might have been some miscommunication between our office
and the home warranty company that assigned the job to us. We’re looking at how we receive the details
from the warranty office to see how we can improve the process for future
jobs. (Show you’re interested and
going to make an effort to correct any issues on your end. )
We have strict scheduling controls and arrived in the allotted in time window, but perhaps there was misunderstanding between our staff and dispatchers which we’ll look into. (Show you’re making an effort)
What we’d like to do is take the opportunity to make it right for you and your home. (Let’s them know you’re going to make efforts.) Please call me directly so that we can discuss this issue personally and make everything to your satisfaction.
Our aim is to create a stellar experience for each and every one of our customers, and I’m confident if you contact us we can achieve this goal her as well. (more empathy, incentivize them to contact you) Our aim is to create a stellar experience for each and every one of our customers, and I’m confident if you contact us we can achieve this goal her as well. (more empathy, incentivize them to contact you)
It’s important to keep in mind that you are not only writing this response for the current customer you are ALSO writing this for the future customers that are going to read your reviews. Everyone gets bad reviews, that’s an inescapable fact, but how you respond to them will greatly influence your potential customers to either call you or forget about you.
If you sue the steps cited above you can turn that bad review into a pot of gold. As future customers see your online reputation and see the empathy and understanding that you used in responding to reviews they will recognize you as a reputable company that will treat them with dignity and respect and WANT to o business with your company.
A COUPLE LINKS THAT WILL GRETLY HELP YOU WITH YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION:
Here's a video we created to help one of our clients: