If you put yourself online and ask customers to leave reviews, there will come a day when you get a review you don’t love. It hurts and it’s hard, but we promise it’s not a business-killer.
Studies show that having a few not-amazing reviews can actually improve your hiring chances by 67 percent. A review like “Jeff was great” isn’t that helpful to someone trying to make an informed decision.
Reviews that go into detail, regardless of number of stars, are more effective and more believable. People are skeptical of anything that seems too good to be true–which is why several pages of sparsely detailed but flawless reviews can often have less impact than just a few specific, but less-than-perfect ones.
But if you do get a negative review, here’s how to handle it.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Yes, this can be difficult. But try to see things from the customer’s perspective. Not only do you have the chance to respond and change their opinion, but now you get the added bonus of learning how to improve your business.
Here’s an example: Say you’re a mover and Doug hired you. He leaves a 3 star review saying the work was fine, but you were late and took longer than you said you would.
Whether Doug failed to give you the specifics before you showed up or you truly were running late that day doesn’t matter. Every situation is unique, and there’s no copy and paste response that will solve all your problems. But here’s our advice:
Whether you were right or wrong doesn’t matter. Doug is unhappy. You may never choose to work with Doug again, but this response is public and you don’t want to seem defensive. In your apology, address the specifics.
I’m so sorry I was running late that day. No excuses, we shouldn’t have inconvenienced you. I appreciate you bringing this to our attention, it’s valuable feedback and I’m working on adjusting my estimates. Thanks so much for hiring us.
(For more on responding to reviews, read this how-to article.)
Reach Out Privately
We also encourage you to reach out to the customer privately to try and fix the situation. Maybe offer a discount code or refund. Honestly, even just a separate, more private apology will help the customer feel heard. When people leave negative reviews, it’s usually for one of two reasons:
- They’re angry and want to be acknowledged. Solution: Acknowledge it.
- They want other customers to know what working with you is like. Solution: Respond with how you plan on fixing this issue in the future.
Putting yourself online means you will inevitably get a review you don’t love, but that’s okay! By showing empathy and respect while talking about how you plan to fix the situation, you can win over even your biggest critic. At the end of the day, having a lot of great reviews will outweigh the one or two that make you cringe. We promise.
If you’re having trouble getting customers to leave you any reviews, here are some tips on how to ask for them.