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When Customers Call Your Baby Ugly: Handling Negative Online Reviews

  1. Why customers write reviews

In my experience as a reputation-management specialist, I find that online reviewers post reviews for one of five reasons: 1. To share the good news of a wonderful experience with other consumers they believe will be delighted to have the insight; 2. To attach positively to a business many others find favorable; 3. To vent frustration or anger they feel was not resolved in the business; or 4. To save fellow consumers from a negative experience they endured. The last group of reviewers often feel a social duty to warn others, so they “don’t have to go through what I went through.” And No. 5 works: Descriptive negative reviews will certainly turn off many customers.

  1. How to handle negative reviews

While negative online reviews feel personal and hurtful, there is often valuable feedback to be gained. First, remove the need to defend or combat the review. Someone took the time to offer you input, and lessons can be learned, even if their method of delivery method has been less than ideal.

Second, consider whether your critic(s) is/are offering insight that is truthful and could be impacting the experience of other customers as well. Is the reviewer complaining that your salon is dirty? That’s remedied with a broom and some bleach. Are your reviews indicating unresponsive or rude customer-service representatives? A change of staff or serious training is warranted. Are online reviewers posting that your business practices are questionable? Maybe you need to set clear expectations with new customers in advance of delivering services.

It’s important, however, that you not engage in public battles with customers online. While it is natural and tempting to want to defend your position, online reviewers can be skeptical and defensive of their own kind. A back and forth argument between a restaurant and its customers, who are passionately asserting their position, is not a pretty sight. Instead, encourage customers to contact you offline, so you can resolve the issue to their satisfaction. You may be pleased with the results.

And you’ll be showing other viewers of the complaint that you care and are trying to rectify the issue.

Originally posted 2015-10-06 04:22:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter