Everyone’s a critic, and as an entrepreneur you are going to face plenty of criticism. No matter how hard you try, inevitably one of your customers will have a negative experience. It’s a part of running your own business. The problem is one bad review doesn’t just mean one bad review anymore. Now if a customer has a problem, they use social media to vent their frustrations and tell all of their friends and acquaintances.
A bad customer review on Facebook and other social media can be very difficult to overcome. One bad review can turn away more customers than ever before. So how do you deal with a negative customer review?
There are three important things to remember when dealing with a negative online review. If you remember these tips and stick to them, your negative reviews can become powerful tools of customer engagement and can actually benefit your business.
1. Don’t put anything in writing you don’t want your entire customer base to see. How you conduct yourself online is a representation of your business. If a customer leaves a negative review, offer a general acknowledgement of their issue and then offer to go over the specifics of how you can help resolve the problem in a private message. Remember that dealing with a customer through social media creates an automatic record of your transaction. As you practice this tip, you will be more aware of how you represent your business online, which can be a powerful tool.
2. Don’t get defensive. Some people just want to complain. They will attack your business, your values or maybe even you personally to justify their concerns. Don’t get upset or defensive but instead recognize what their motivation might be. Are they looking for a discount? Or did they have a genuine problem? See the situation from their perspective. Acknowledge their problem. Most of the time people just want to know that they are being heard. If they’ve posted publicly on your page, respond publicly so other customers can see that you are willing to listen. If the matter escalates, resolve it through private channels.
3. Don’t try and prove the customer wrong. The customer isn’t always right, but looking for ways to prove the customer wrong will only hurt your business. When it’s public and on social media, remember that you aren’t just dealing with that one customer. You are dealing with all your potential customers. Do you want them to see you trying to accuse a customer of something? Or do you want them to see you as someone willing to listen, make changes and deal with customers in a professional manner? It’s far easier to simply resolve the problem and accept the loss of offering a discount or some other promotion than fighting with a customer, alienating them and your future customer base.
Remember never to get caught up in a war of words with a customer, especially through social media. Instead engage your customer with these tips, resolve the issue and allow your problem solving to be seen publicly. Then a negative customer experience can become a powerful example of customer service that may just gain you some new clientele!