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By : Laurel Savey, 02-15-2016

When building a business, customer reviews can make or break you, although they don’t have to. If you find yourself with a poor review of your company, especially if poor reviews are recurrent, its important to consider following the steps below before taking any action.  

Step #1: Take Time to Consider the Review

Resisting the urge to get defensive and fire back with a witty comment or rude remark when you receive a poor business review can be difficult. However, this is exactly what you must do to avoid worsening an already negative situation and jeopardizing how your business is viewed in general. It is important to be in the proper headspace when replying to any negative review. So, take a little breather before responding. Allow yourself to collect your thoughts and think about what the reviewer is saying and how you might want to respond in order to resolve the customer’s concern to your greatest ability, and also to improve your business practices.

Step 2: Compare the Review to Your Business Practices

It is true that sometimes the people leave bad reviews for spiteful, rather than valid reason, although this isn’t typically the majority of bad reviews. More often than not, a bad review is an indication of something going wrong at a business, either temporarily, or more deeply rooted. For this reason, it is important to compare what the reviewer is saying to the daily practices that your business follows. Try and decipher whether or not the issue contained in the review is a repetitive issue or a one-time occurrence. If what they are complaining about is something your company doesn’t already focus some attention on, consider the concerns and modify accordingly. On the other hand, if what they are complaining about is something your company is already attentive to, working towards, or is something your business has received numerous other positive reviews about; you can relax a little bit. You may however, want to speak to your staff to ensure everyone understands that particular business practice and is following it as best they can. 

Remember, bad reviews can be a blessing. Having customers tell you exactly how you may improve -- which is what a poor review is about, even if it doesn’t seem that way – provides valuable insights.  

Step 3: Decide How to Respond

Once you have taken time to cool off and have reviewed the complaint against your business practices, the next step is to decide how to respond to the bad review. Resist the urge to be short or rude with the individual who left the review, but instead say something that will hopefully help to calm them down and assure them that you are working to remedy the complaint. An example of a respectful and appropriate response might be: 

“We thank you very much for bringing this concern to our attention and we are doing our best to remedy the cause of the mistake. We are extremely apologetic that you experienced this and we want to assure you that we are using this information to better our business to serve you better. Please do not hesitate to contact our customer service if you have any further questions or would like to speak to someone in person about this occurrence. Sorry again for the inconvenience, and thank you for contacting us.” 

This response shows your customer that you are working to improve the business practices to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again. You may also want to offer them some kind of refund or rebate on the product or services, but this is optional. 

If you follow these few simple and easy steps, you should be able to improve your business and create a stronger business-customer relationship. Again, the most important thing to remember when faced with a bad review is to think of it as constructive criticism. Changing or adjusting your practices accordingly can help improve your business and lead to more successful results.

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