First off, don’t be too hard on yourself for getting a negative review if it’s a rare experience. You can’t please everybody, and not everyone is going to love every aspect of your business.
It’s important to note that not all customer feedback is beneficial. Taking each and every review into deep consideration can actually harm your product or service. When you are reading through reviews, start by looking for any themes or repeated complaints. The most common word in negative online reviews is “disappointed”, implying that the customers had higher expectations than what was offered. Once you’ve identified the patterns, figure out what product or service is causing an issue with your customers. Yelp reviews can be very helpful for this since the site will actually highlight the words that are mentioned by multiple customers.
Upon determining which aspect of your business needs improvement, you need to brainstorm solutions and weigh the outcomes. For instance, if you are experiencing a customer service issue, consider the steps it might take to improve your staff. Do they need extra training? Disciplinary measures? If it’s that bad, termination?
The most important thing is to learn from the negative feedback. Don’t take it too personally. Ultimately, this type of harsh (public) criticism should act as the framework for how your company evolves.
Make sure you thoroughly read all the reviews people post online. When responding, don’t let anger and frustration take over. Let cooler heads prevail. Apologize, if needed, by saying you are sorry for their experience, and explain how this is unusual within your business. Consider offering a special deal or a discount on the purchase, if applicable.
Responding to negative reviews will not only work to appease a disgruntled customer, it may help grow your business and present it in a new light. JetBlue is a fantastic example of how to respond to customers. They have become renowned for their timeliness in addressing inquiries and grievances on social media. Going beyond just answering questions, they use these responses as means to promote their company image as well as their unique brand voice.