A business’s online reputation is critical to their success today, with 5-star reviews likely to increase revenue by 10%, but a single negative review can turn away many potential customers and result in huge losses. So, what do you do when you receive a negative review?
What is the first step in handling a negative review?
Start by reaching out to the customer and attempting to resolve the issue and make it right for them. Remember that most negative reviews really are an attempt on the part of the reviewer to get attention on a problem they’d like fixed.
After contacting the reviewer to attempt to resolve the problem, what’s the next step?
After you discover from the reviewer what the problem is and what they would like to see done about it, work to actually resolve the problem to their satisfaction and to the best of your ability. Then follow up with the reviewer again to notify them that you have made the desired corrections. Once you have verified that the customer is satisfied, ask them to either remove the negative review, or even better, update their review to reflect the positive changes. A review that demonstrates your drive to make it right will speak volumes to potential customers.
What other steps can be taken?
On sites such as Houzz, if you’ve asked the reviewer to modify their comments when you feel you’ve successfully addressed their concerns, or that their review was left in error, you can request from Houzz that they remove reviews from the previous 30 days that are below 3 stars. The request through Houzz will prompt you to enter a message to the customer, and they will be invited to retract their review if they believe the problem has been resolved. It is only possible to request the removal once.
What if the customer doesn’t change or remove the review?
In the event that the customer chooses not to remove or change their review, you can always respond to the review, giving your side of the story. When doing this, remember to be as professional and gracious as you would in responding to a positive review for the best possible outcome for your business. A level-headed and gracious response to a negative review can speak volumes to the potential clients checking the reviews.