In a previous post I showed you an example of responding to negative online feedback the right way.
Here is now an example of the exact OPPOSITE way to respond to a bad online review. This comes from a company’s Better Business Bureau page. I’ve removed all names to save the company any further embarrassment (though they probably deserve it).
First, the complaint. It’s massive, so I’ll post only a portion of it…
Basically, the customer wasn’t satisfied with the work. When they called the company, they got the runaround. The customer says they eventually got so frustrated that they contacted their credit card company, which refunded the cost of the project.
Now, here is how the company responded. This is 100% real…
This is not only ridiculously unprofessional… it is offensive, petty, and crosses a dozen lines in terms of acceptability. I am blown away that anyone would EVER do business with this company.
I don’t have to worry about YOU reacting like this to a bad online review. But here is my point…
When a customer leaves negative feedback about you on a review website, do NOT get defensive in your response.
It’s easy to blame the installers, the sales manager, or even the customer. It may even actually be their fault. But DON’T BLAME THEM.
If you’re the owner, take full responsibility. Acknowledge the customer’s feelings. Thank them for providing their honest feedback. Apologize for not meeting their standards (even if it’s not your fault). Then tell the customer you’ll reach out to them to try to make things right.
Here’s what will happen when you do this:
- Nine times out of ten, you’ll be able to come to a resolution with the unsatisfied customer. Studies shows customers who have a bad experience return to a company if the problem is solved quickly and satisfactorily. In many instances, customers will also amend their negative review and leave you positive feedback.
- You’ll now retain that customer for future projects and referrals.
- It will let potential prospects reading your response know that you’re professional. You do everything you can to ensure customer satisfaction.
Now, there ARE circumstances where a customer is just being an irrational jerk and writing bad stuff about you because they apparently have nothing better to do.
When responding to those types of reviews, feel free to explain your side of the situation in your reply. Just do so in a calm, rational manner. Still make sure to say something along the lines of “I’m truly sorry we weren’t able to make you happy.” Being the bigger person will build trust in any potential prospects reading your response.
Bottom line: When responding to a negative online review, it’s always best to keep on smiling… even if it’s through gritted teeth.