Oh no, you just got a negative rating! But don’t worry, negative reviews are beneficial in the long run. They might hurt short-term, but long-term, they net exponential results. It’s only a matter of perspective and determination.
A common mistake most business owners make is that they ignore negative reviews and look past them. This is a big NO! Doing so will not only worsen the situation, but it will also create a negative reputation for your company.
The right thing to do is respond to them in the right way. But first, let’s shift our perspective. If you’re like everyone else, you might feel down and unsuccessful the first time you receive a negative review. It’s normal to feel this way, but you should always come back stronger. Take the negative review and extract the feedback to improve your business performance further. Negative reviews are the best way to improve your business. Without it, you won’t be able to tell what’s going wrong in your business and what you can do better.
Now that you have an improvement-oriented perspective. Let’s start responding! When responding to a negative review, it’s essential to keep in mind these three things:
Mirror (whenever possible)
Apply all mirroring techniques mentioned beforehand in (how to respond to online positive reviews). But as you will see, mirroring a negative review doesn’t feel great and sometimes can feel awkward. You can stop the mirroring whenever this happens and try reflecting on something else.
You must recognize the root cause of the problem or frustration of the customer; there is a reason why your customer took time out of their day to write a negative review about your business. Your job is to figure out that problem. It’s self-evident most of the time, but sometimes it can be tricky. Take some time, and don’t rush this step.
- Bad customer service
- Bad price to value ratio
- Poor management
Once you have the problem/frustration figured out, it’s time to formulate a plan to improve/fix the current situation if possible and to prevent it from happening in the future. This step can also be an excellent opportunity to cooperate with your data/analytics team; Because most of the time, a problem has already been seen multiple times.
For example, you respond to a negative review about poor customer service, you check in with your data team. It turns out you have 20 more negative reviews mentioning poor customer service, which is 40% more than any other problem. This implies that customer service is a significant improvement opportunity in your business.
This step is meant for you and your team to formulate a comprehensive plan to combat the problem. Once you have a plan formulated, include that in your response. For example:
We’re incredibly sorry for the bad management you experienced with your family. In response to the incident, we are formulating [mention plan here] to prevent a similar situation for other families. We are happy to invite you to chat about the incident and receive further feedback on our plans to make it right.
After several meetings talking about the issue of poor management in our resort, we have taken the initiative to implement the plan formulated above starting [date]. We hope to stop future incidents relating to the problem and we will be closely monitoring the situation.