It happens. It’s never been easier to leave a bad review.
For better and worse.
Don’t be discouraged. It’s a huge opportunity!
It’s also never easier to hear what your customers are saying … and then have a conversation with them.
Bad reviews – on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, et al. – should be addressed empathetically and positively.
Even when you’re sure it’s a wackjob, a competitor, or a disgruntled employee who left the review. Especially then.
Because other people checking you out online might not necessarily connect the dots and know it’s a disgruntled wackjob competitor.
Answer with tact. Answer with grace and empathy. And, most importantly, answer with confidence.
Do your best to get the person who left the review to connect with you directly. Or, if you can connect dots between review and customer – connect them yourself.
Reach out. See what can be done.
There is usually no greater ally than a once-wronged customer done right.
And if it’s a wackjob, a deft writer can usually help remind browsers of said wackjobbiness.
Here’s our response:
Todd, We’re very sorry you had a bad experience. We tried to look up your name in our recent service records so we could contact you and help resolve this matter quickly and to your satisfaction. However, we couldn’t find any record of your name in our recent service listings. Please contact any of the owners at your earliest convenience to discuss how we can make things right. Call 445-4489 and ask for Phil, Nathan or Heidi. Thank you!
Notice our reponse:
- It apologizes straight away. No waffling. Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone. We learned this in kindergarten. Well, most of us did.
- We made an effort to contact you but we’re pretty sure you’re about as real as the Cubs’ World Series chances. However, we want others reading this to realize this, too, but you know – in a nice way.
- Ball’s in your court, homey. Call one of the owners. Not a supervisor. An owner.
- Thank them. Have top-notch manners. We learned this in kindergarten. Well, most of us did.
Be kind. Be direct. Be careful.
About the worst thing you can do is come across as petty and self-righteous.
The worst thing you can do is ignore them, and that’s true whether they’re real or fictional.
If they’re real, you owe them your time and attention. They owe you a chance to make things right and amend the review.
If they’re fictional … well, in this rare case, when you ignore them, the wackjobs win.
UPDATE, July 25, 12:59 PM CDT – Also, don’t do what Chick-Fil-A did. Don’t pretend to be teenage girls. Eww.
If, right about now, you have no idea how to check for reviews, much less answer them, we’ll get to that in next week’s Web Wednesday.