A major part of owning and operating a business is finding customers, then providing them with the best product or service possible. However, sometimes no matter how hard you try, you sometimes receive a negative customer review.
Some companies use websites like Angie’s List or other sites to promote themselves. These types of sites are also where customers can add reviews to the businesses they have used and research other customers’ reviews to find a company that would fit their needs.
This is an excellent opportunity to market and grow your business in today’s competitive marketplace. However, the downside to all of this exposure is the occasional negative reviews that every business winds up receiving at least a couple.
In today’s digital age, if something bad happens to a customer, there is a good chance they will write a negative review about the experience. Unfortunately, bad reviews can cause serious damage to a company’s reputation.
Negative customer reviews have also been used by unscrupulous companies to harm their competition. Here are a few tips on how to deal with negative customer reviews and turn them around.
- Immediately contact the customer to hear their side. Sometimes complaints can wind up being just a misunderstanding. However, if your business is at fault, then just admit to it and do whatever it takes to make the correct the problem.
- The customer is always right. It is a good business practice always to follow this mantra. Make sure you always leave the customer satisfied, no matter what the situation is.
- Respond to all of the reviews you receive. Even if you speak to the customer offline, and clear the matter up. Make sure you respond online as well, so there is a record of your attempt to correct the matter. In the case of a negative review, this shows you care about fixing your mistakes. In the case of positive reviews, thanking the customer for their review shows you appreciate them taking the time to leave you a review, and that you are thankful for a positive.
- Ask satisfied customers to post a favorable review. Positive reviews counteract the bad reviews and show that you receive more satisfied customers than unsatisfied ones.
The best way to avoid negative customer reviews is to leave all of your customers satisfied with a job well done every time. Here are some tips to help make sure unhappy customers are rare.
- Have a procedure in place to check every job for problems when it is finished. If a problem is brought to your attention, implement a procedure to correct it before it reaches the customer and becomes an issue.
- Make an appointment. If you are a contractor, set up an appointment with your customer. If you are late or need to reschedule, call them before the appointment time to explain what’s going on. Don’t make them call to find out where you are and why you were not at their home when you said you would
- Have a skilled customer service representative deal directly with your customers. Hire someone who is patient, understanding, sensitive and caring to handle discussions with your customers. This is important because this person will be the face and voice of your business. You want to make sure they can handle any situation professionally. Also, make sure this person has all of the information about each job so,
- when asked, they can respond with confidence and show your customers you have knowledgeable and competent people working for you.
- Create a survey for each customer to fill out at the end of the job. This is a huge help because it will show you your strong points as well as areas that you need to improve. It will also give you a way to track the job performance of your employees, your company, and your management skills.
Negative reviews happen to all businesses, and occasionally you will have an unsatisfied customer, it is important to try to minimize both and also to learn from them so you can fine-tune your operation to do better the next time.
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