Negative reviews are undesirable but inevitable. You may wish they didn’t exist, but as explained in our article about responding to negative reviews, they can help build your business reputation if you reply to them and let your customers know you care if they have a problem, and that you’re willing to do everything you can to fix it.
You may think bad reviews are just something to be addressed for that particular customer, but if many people start to complain about the same issue, you should pay attention. Even if it’s just a couple of complaints, take them seriously and consider that they may have a point.
Say someone complains about the attitude of one of your employees. This could just be an opinion the customer had, but you can’t assume that. If one of your employees was rude or said something unacceptable to a customer, you should follow up on it and get both sides of the story.
One thing’s for certain: Ignoring bad reviews will never fix the problem, and if your customers see that nothing is being done, it could reflect poorly on your business.
According to Business.com, several studies have shown that anywhere from 67 to 90 percent of people look at reviews before they decide to buy. They will be more impressed if they see that you’ve taken the time not only to respond to negative reviews but to actively fix any issues that were brought up.
But how exactly do you go about changing your business after getting negative feedback?
Admit There’s A Problem
Many businesses, when they hear a mistake has been made on their part, try to avoid the issue and hope it goes away. They may believe that drawing attention to it and admitting fault will tank their reputation.
This is false. In reality, the opposite is true. According to Blue Kite, admitting mistakes shows leadership, and others may put a little more faith in your business in turn.
One of the strongest, most mature things anyone can do is admit when they’re wrong. Taking accountability for what happens at your business is the first step to fixing the issue. Even if admitting it feels like shooting your own reputation in the foot, being transparent about your business struggles can actually end up increasing the trust people will have in you.
If your customers see that you’re taking responsibility and making an effort to fix a problem many were having, they’ll see that you care about their experiences and want to make them better. Never underestimate the human element.
You know what they say; honesty is the best policy!
Reasons To Admit Mistakes
Admitting mistakes shows integrity. When you apologize, you’re letting your customer(s) know that you recognize a mistake has been made. Staying silent and refusing to respond gives the impression that you don’t know it happened or worse, that you don’t care if it did.
Along with showing integrity, admitting mistakes reminds everyone that you and your employees are human too. They may relate more to you if you admit you’ve made a mistake.
Admitting when you’re wrong can actually increase the trust customers have in your business and make them more loyal to you. Not only does this show responsibility, but it makes your business stand out more from others.
Find A Solution
After admitting that there’s a problem, resolve yourself to fix it. Depending on what it is, fixing or at least improving the issue may take time. Take a moment to meet with your team and go over the situation to get their input, then come up with some possible solutions.
The solution to your problem will be different in each situation. Giving your employees sensitivity training won’t fix the grungy bathrooms, after all! We can’t offer a one-size-fits-all solution, but take care to implement some of these measures and mold them as you see fit to work best for your team.
“This isn’t what I ordered!”
If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ll know that a common complaint from customers is that their order is wrong. Hey, these things happen, whether it’s caused by a staffing problem or if it was just a good, old-fashioned mix-up.
The easiest solution to this problem is to apologize and bring them their correct order, though if a customer is not abated by this, you may want to consider comping that food item.
This type of complaint also applies to companies that have products available for customers to buy and have shipped to their homes. If a customer receives the wrong product and complains, be sure to reply with an apology and either offer an exchange or send them what they ordered without asking for the wrong product back, depending on what it is.
In situations where these solutions are not viable, issuing coupons is also an option.
“There was poor customer service!”
Customer service complaints are very common for all businesses. Whether it was your employee who was rude or the customer that perceived the interaction as rude, your business has still been affected by that customer’s experience and subsequent complaint.
The best thing you can do is apologize to the customer, then talk to your employees about it and give them more training as needed. Make sure they understand that what they do reflects back on you and the business as a whole.
Proper and detailed training is one of the most essential parts of running your business and keeping it functioning smoothly.
“Everything was dirty!”
People are most comfortable in clean environments. If your location is sub-par in terms of cleanliness, you may want to step up your game.
Try making a checklist of everything that needs to be cleaned, including how often each area or object needs to be cleaned (daily, weekly, etc.) If you serve food, keeping a handbook of safety regulations nearby will make it easy for you and your employees to keep your location spick and span!
People who come to your location from then on might be impressed by how clean it is, and hopefully, they’ll leave reviews that mention it.
There’s a lot you and your employees can learn from reviews. From proper training to keeping things clean, listening to what your customers are telling you can help your business improve and increase their trust and loyalty in you.
To learn more about reviews, and how you can use them to improve your business, contact us or call us at (205) 451-1945.