Anytime you get negative feedback from a customer, try using these tips to protect your reputation and keep the situation from getting worse.
Express Understanding And Empathy
When you are talking to someone through the Internet, it is sometimes easy to forget that you are communicating with an actual person. Behind every complaint, there is a living, breathing human being. Keep that in mind when you respond, making sure to take their feelings into account.
Even if you aren’t at fault, it is important to empathize with their feelings, letting them know that you understand how upset they are. If you did do something wrong, take responsibility. Admitting your mistakes can go a long way toward resolving conflicts and can also make you seem more human in the eyes of your customers.
In the case of something such as Rip Off Report, there is likely no way to remove it. So, the best action is to try and be as gracious in the retort as possible and then push that site out of the top search terms through a reputation management campaign and remove ripoff report from your searches.
Go Beyond An Apology
Anytime you get a review on the Internet, you should thank the customer who left it. If they are unhappy, let them know that you are sorry they had a bad experience. Along with apologizing, however, you also need to find a way to resolve the problem.
When you reply to their complaint, explain in detail how the issue was resolved. Later, when other customers read your response, it will put your business in a better light since it shows that you really care about the quality of your products or services.
Focus On Positivity
When reading through negative reviews from customers, see if there is a way to put a positive spin on their complaints. This can help the reviewer understand why they had a certain experience and can also help put your business in a better light.
The easiest way to understand this is through an example. If you own a restaurant, imagine that a customer left a review saying that they had to wait too long to get served. In your reply, you could apologize for the wait but explain that every meal is prepared when it is ordered using fresh ingredients, which is why it takes a little bit longer to make. By doing this, you are changing the way that people think about the wait time, making it seem like a positive rather than a negative.
Consistency Is Key
Every time you respond to a review, you should use the same tone and style. If more than one person handles the responses, make sure that you are all on the same page in terms of how to handle them. Being consistent with your responses will help define your brand.
In situations where it is appropriate, you may be able to add humor to your responses, as well, to connect with customers in a unique way.
Take A Personal Approach
When you respond to someone online, make sure to mention their name. Personalizing your response like this makes people feel like they really matter. Don’t forget to close the message by signing your name, as well.
Think Through Your Response
Instead of responding to negative reviews immediately, take a few minutes to think through your response.
Sometimes, responding online is not the best approach. A lot of nuance can be lost when reading a text message or email since you can’t hear voice inflections or see body language. This is particularly true when you are writing to someone that you don’t know in real life.
Depending on the situation, calling the customer directly to resolve the issue could be better than contacting them through the Internet. If you go this route, however, make sure to respond to their review online, as well, letting people know that everything was resolved by phone. That way, anyone else who reads the review will know that you addressed the issue instead of letting it go.
Look For Opportunities To Improve
When you get a negative review, ask yourself if there is something you could be doing better. Don’t instantly dismiss the claims of the customer. Instead, think about how you could provide a more satisfying experience.
If you deal with complaints correctly, customers will often come back and revise their reviews, letting everyone else know how satisfied they were with your response.
All of these things will stand to you well if you are looking to make more of your online reputation.