If you are a virtual office owner with an online business presence, you are bound to receive some feedback from your customers. However, this feedback might not always be positive. When you have a geological presence either physically or through a virtual office, your business will qualify for Google My Business reviews. The catch in getting your business verified is that you will be localized and appear as an authentic business. The drawback, however, is that the reviews you will receive will not always be positive. Customers who loved your product or services will brag about it and so will be the ones who had a bad experience. Most of the customers who write badly about your business are often not even your customers. In other cases, they are just picky and you did your best to make them happy. The remaining percentage of these reviews is the ones with authentic bad experiences. In any case, how do you deal with these bad reviews?
The first bad review on your business can bring mixed feelings out of you. You might be furious, sad, or put off by the review. We understand that no one likes criticism, especially when it is not in a constructive manner. It is very common for businesses to respond to bad reviews emotionally. They take these bad feedbacks personally and would want to defend their business, which we understand. However, a new customer or an outsider might see this act as foolish and get an unprofessional image of your business.
Before you crack your knuckles and start typing a response, take breathe. Instead of letting your frustration take the best out of you, think about what the reviewer is trying to say. Are they upset about the experience they had with your services? Did they try to reach out for some customer support but were not satisfied? Are their complaints eligible? Once the nature of the review is determined then it is time to craft a response. Here is how your response can be:
Positive: Your response should always start with an apology for the bad experience the customer faced. Regardless it was your mistake or not. In doing so you are giving out an empathetic image of your brand. Moreover, be very aware of your CAPS. Never reply to a customer is shouty capitals. That will make the situation worse.
Considerate: After you apologize, thank the customer for their feedback – no matter good or bad. Tell them that you are grateful that they took the time to share their experience with you. Mention that the company is constantly working to improve their services and feedback like theirs is ideal to improve.
Genuine: Most of the customers get mad and jump to bash your business because they have not got their desired response or no response in some cases. If you be genuine with your customers and show them from your response that you care about them, you can turn negative feedback into a positive one. Moreover, window shoppers who have landed in your shop might read the response and feel confident about using your services, as they would feel that your business is interested to resolve customer issues.
Time-offs: If a customer keeps on using your reviews section to make it all about his bad experience, and goes back and forth online – it is best to get on a call with him or invite them to visit the nearest branch or store. There you can see them in person, talk it out, and convince them.
How can you secure your reputation online?
If you have started a new business or launched a new product without coming up with a strategy to deal with criticism, it is time to make one now. Here is how your client feedback routine should work:
- Make a schedule or timeline to respond to client feedback (good or bad) within 24-48 hours. You can appoint a person for your online reputation management.
- Many complaints have similar scenarios. For instance, delayed shipping, broken product, wrong size, etc. You can make canned responses and templates to respond to similar situations. You can also have a look at how your competitors are responding to their feedback, or how you as a customer would want to be treated in such a situation.
- Once all of this is done, make sure to personalize your response before sending it. Moreover, they would know that the response was made by a human and is not from an automated robot.
Bad reviews are a part of your business and there is nothing much you can do to eliminate it. However, you can control the frequency. Schedule a regular review of all the negative feedbacks you receive quarterly each year, and look for the similarities. Work on these reviews and see them as an opportunity for the improvement and growth of your business.