They say all PR is good PR, but the scorching, one-star review you just received online has turned into a bash-session and you've already started walking to your gun safe.  

RELAX!  This is a great opportunity for you to show the world that your business is A) human, B) caring of your customers, and C) has the power to solve problems.  This is your chance to prove that you have the BEST customer service out of all your competitors, who are most likely receiving the same negative reviews and worse - not addressing them. 

When it comes to negative reviews, here are some Do's & Dont's to employ immediately:

DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT...

  1. …sticking your head in the sand.  You may think your customers are "hot heads" or that it's just the "nature of your business".  We once had a client tell us all their customers are idiots, and just accepted the fact that they will all leave a negative review.  Nice business model.  Reviews that go ignored by your business are like a plague.  They can and will influence existing and potential customers.  FACT: 80% of consumers say a negative review changed their mind about doing business with that company.   
  2. …going on the offensive.  Your unhappy customer may have just called you a "son of a goat".  Do not take it personally.  Angry customers are like children throwing tantrums, and you need to be careful about diffusing them.  They eventually will cool off, so don't antagonize them and perpetuate an ongoing battle by telling them they are wrong or crazy. 
  3. …trying to cover it up. Your first thought may be "I can just get a whole bunch of positive reviews to push this down".  Wrong.  Although you must have a process for facilitating positive reviews, potential customers will sort and seek out the negative reviews first, and then read onto the positive.  And we don't even need to touch on posting fake positive reviews here, right?  Good.   

Definitely Do...

  1. …address the issue quickly.  By waiting it out, you risk a horde of pitchfork and torch-bearers just waiting to get a jab at you.  A quick response from the business may not only diffuse the situation but prevent it from getting worse. 
  2. …get the owner or manager involved.  This is a human conversation.  If you are posting with a brand-oriented username, it removes the human element and leaves the reviewer feeling like they aren't important enough to talk to the head honcho.  There is no better resolution than one that comes from the person who can make the ultimate decision to remedy it.  
  3. …attempt to take the conversation offline.  Offer the unhappy customer your personal information so that you can resolve it privately.  This kills two birds by also showing potential customers you are not afraid or too important to get involved in customer service.
  4. …tell us all what happened.  Sometimes unhappy customers complain about things that are out of your control, weren't any fault of the business, or worse -  lie about things that simply did not happen.  In those cases, the truth will prevail.  Explain the details so your potential customers can see that maybe this person is just having a bad day…or is in-fact crazy.  But remember…BE NICE! {grandma voice] 
  5. ….ask for favors. If you resolved the situation with your customer by exchanging their product, giving them free stuff, sending flowers, etc. then ask them if they would please renege, alter or add to their negative review.  The best review a potential customer can see is an issue that you were able to solve.  

Remember, potential customers expect to see negative reviews about a business.  Negative reviews show that you are human, and also proves that your reviews are legitimate and not just fake positive posts.  Be sure to have an alert system in place so that reviews don't go unnoticed, and a process to respond. 

214 Interactive' systems alert you to positive and negative reviews, and empower you to respond.   Click here for a free visibility report. 

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