Reviews and rankings can make or break a small business. Very few SMEs have the budget for a dedicated marketing department, and many rely on search engines, social media and reviews to get their name out there. But what if a disgruntled customer has taken to Twitter, Trip Advisor or even your own website to voice their disappointment? If you don't want your business to have a bad reputation, here's how to respond and then bounce back.
1. Keep an eye on that feedback
What good is responding to a bad review that was published months ago? It's incredibly important that you know how people are able to reach out to your business; whether they're going to voice their concerns through your website, on social media or a platform like CustomerSure, you need to know exactly where that feedback could be coming in.
Consider setting up email alerts for whenever your products or services are rated online. If you do have a social media presence, make sure it's being regularly checked up on. A slow response is likely to turn a critical review into a lasting mark against your company.
2. Respond publicly, stay professional
A public review requires a public response. If you have the contact details of the client or customer it may be worthwhile reaching out to them directly too, but the important thing is to indicate to future customers that this complaint is being followed up. Make sure to maintain a professional tone, do not become argumentative or attempt to dispute the complaints made - it's not the place or the time, and comes across as dismissive.
The customer is always right - trust their feedback and their judgements, and offer a sincere apology.
3. Move the conversation offline
After you've apologised, make sure that the client has a way of contacting you. This not only provides them with your assurance that you will resolve the issue to their satisfaction, but also indicates to your potential future customers that you are prepared to act on feedback. Illustrating that you take complaints seriously is much more powerful than just a scripted apology.
When you do speak with the customer, this is a suitable time to acknowledge each of the issues raised in their online review.
4. Act on the feedback
The worst kind of review is one that is repeated by another customer. If more than one client claims that your service was 'unfriendly', it gives the statement far more weight than a stand alone complaint. This will not go unnoticed by your potential customers.
There will always be customers who love to complain, but for the most part if a client has given you negative feedback its because they have genuinely had a poor experience with your company. Review the claims, rectify the problems and work out how your going to avoid this situation repeating itself. A little extra effort now will ensure positive responses in future.
Check out Transcendit's customer reviews, managed through CustomerSure