Negative reviews can feel like a personal attack if you are involved in the day to day operations of the company. You may be working at the best of your ability to satisfy every customer, and when you receive a complaint, your efforts feel diminished. When you receive a negative customer review you must take action, but you must not let your emotions dictate your next move.
Should you respond? Most definitely, yes. How should you respond? There are a few things you should consider including in your response to each negative review. The basic framework for responding to negative feedback includes:
1) Acknowledge the problem and apologize
Even if you disagree with the feedback or your take on how the event transpired, you must understand that customer perception is that their experience did not meet their expectations. You should acknowledge the customer’s concern and apologize for this experience/reaction.
2) Do not become defensive
Don’t follow up your acknowledgment/apology with an excuse that can undermine any trust that was being built back up. You must also understand that your response will be visible from this day forward, and handling the situation diplomatically will be advantageous for your reputation moving forward.
3) Provide alternative contact information
Take the conversation offline. The review thread is not the place to have a long-winded discussion to reach a resolution. Establish an alternative channel for this and let the review be a place to update future customers of what action was taken.
4) Update with a resolution status
Including the status of the progress towards resolution will be beneficial for future customers to quickly scan and see that you are attentive and responsive to negative feedback.
For more information and a template for responding to your negative reviews, refer to the infographic below from Housecall Pro: