It is a fact of business life that you will get both positive and negative feedback.
In this day and age everything is online, which can be daunting from a feedback perspective! There is nowhere to hide, and whilst positive feedback being public is fabulous, negative feedback being public can often be feared.
However, there is no need to fear negative feedback, you just need to know what to do with it!
How to deal with negative online reviews
Respond to the review
First things first, make sure you respond to the negative review in a timely manner. Not responding to negative feedback will reflect worse than the negative feedback itself.
This shows other potential customers that you care about negative feedback and bad experiences your customers may have had.
When responding, apologise for the customer not having a good experience with your company but don’t necessarily accept responsibility in this public forum. Take the conversation offline, direct them to a telephone number or email address where they can communicate with you in more detail.
“Thank you for your feedback, we are sorry you have had this experience. If it’s ok, we would like to discuss this with you further so we can ensure it doesn’t happen again in future, please contact us at…”
Where there has been a turnaround in customer behaviour, ask the person who originally left the review if they would mind following up on the comment saying that it has been resolved!
Don’t ignore it
Don’t ignore negative feedback; instead try to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Whether this is changing a product, service, speaking to staff – there are always ways to improve and listening to your customers is imperative.
If the negative review got a lot of airtime, own it! Acknowledge what has happened and let your customers know what you did about it and how you’re trying to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This could be by responding to the review or a story on social media.
Long story short, don’t take negative feedback negatively. Take negative feedback as an opportunity to improve your business! Some negative feedback will be unwarranted and unfair, but often you can learn from it and it means there is room for improvement.