What you should do when you get a nasty review online?
It happens. Even the best businesses will occasionally get a really bad review. You may have dropped the ball on something and be guilty as charged. If so, fess up. Admit that you dropped the ball and apologize.
Offer Some Form of Compensation If Possible.
But do not do this online! Instead ask the person complaining to call you so that you can discuss and find a solution. This puts the ball in their court It shows that you are willing to work with them. But it keeps the details of your negotiations offline where they should stay. This is between you and your customer.
Prospects will see that you are willing to admit your mistakes and want to find a solution. Everyone has made a mistake before. With a proper apology most people will forgive the incident. That is as long as it doesn't continue to happen.
But What if You are Not Guilty?
Sometimes due to circumstances beyond your control a customer may become upset. Nowadays, when upset they run to the Internet and post a nasty review.
First, Take a Deep Breath
You want to respond quickly. But you do not want to respond when you are feeling angry. That tone will not put you or your company in a good light. If you need to sleep on it do so. Do respond in the next 24 hours however. But first:
Talk to Someone You Trust
Talk to someone who has no vested interest in your business. You need an objective opinion. Write your response offline first. Ask this person to read it. They will be able to look at your response with fresh eyes.
Because they are not invested in your business they will be able to look at your statement objectively. There will be no emotions getting in the way.
Straddle the Line
There is a fine line between apologizing and admitting guilt. If you really did nothing wrong and the customer is being unreasonable you do not want to accept responsibility.
However, you do not want to get into an online fight with them either. Furthermore, people reading the review will not know the whole.story. You want to give them enough information to realize there are two sides to every story. But you do not want to create more drama.
Ask customers who are pleased with your service to review you. Make this a regular part of your marketing strategy. If you have tons of great reviews a bad one will not carry as much weight. A bad review is not the end of your business. Yes, it hurts. But with a good strategy in place your business will continue to blossom.
Kathryn Watson is a Social Media Strategist. Her focus is on Content Creation, Facebook and LinkedIn Strategy, Training and Coaching.