It can be upsetting to find out about a negative review online. Especially when you've worked so hard to give every client the best experience possible. It can seem like someone took five seconds to destroy the brand reputation which has taken you years to build. Fear not, here are some tips to help you manage negative feedback.
1. Keep Calm and Reply Fast
When TV presenter Ewen Cameron complained on Twitter about the cheeseburger he ordered at a James Martin restaurant in Glasgow Airport, TV chef James Martin responded to the complaint within hours. The response was fast and sincere. It was appreciated not only by Ewen Cameron, but also by some happy customers of James' - loads of positive customer feedback were posted amidst "Burger Gate"!
2. Be Nice and Don’t Get Personal
It's important to remember that online responses can easily be seen by future clients.
The way you handle an unhappy client now is how prospects see you treat every client. This is especially true when it comes to suspicious, fake reviews. According to BrightLocal's 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 79% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year, but a worrying 84% can't always spot them.
Always thank the person for the feedback, and no matter how bad the feedback is, do not get personal. As Google says, "It's difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Keep your responses useful, readable and courteous."
3. Offer Solutions
To turn that frown upside down, merely acknowledging issues raised in the negative feedback is not enough. After you've apologised, offer a solution. If there's no immediate solution suitable, inviting the person to get in touch by email is a great way to start. Many hotel General Managers do so on Tripadvisor these days. The key here is not to give a general email address, such as one that looks like "info@ABCvenue.com" or "complaints@ABCvenue.com". Providing a personal inbox with your name in the email address shows that you value your clients, especially those with less-than-satisfactory experiences.