Ignorance has long been a tempting thought to man and dog alike. When something bad happens, we wish we could just forget about it and have it go away. That kind of problem solving would certainly have our tails wagging, but unfortunately ignorance is not bliss. Being famous online (even if your only fan is the Google algorithm) takes a lot of attention. The folks on social media are not always kind and if you become active it is highly likely that at some point you will receive a negative review. This post is about how to react and what to do.
The first step to dealing with bad reviews is being aware of them. There are a few ways you will want to be doing this. The first is to constantly be checking your listings. If you are a small business you should be listed on sites like yellowpages.com or yelp.com. These sites have review functions that allow customers to let others know what they thought of your services. Consistently paging through all of your listings (have them bookmarked) will alert you to any bad reviews.
However, these negative thoughts show up in more places than just listings. People talk all over the internet and this can be tough to track. There are programs that will crawl the web each day and find keywords (like your business name) so you can see who is saying what about you. Trackur is a good example of a social-media crawling tool that will let you know where people are talking about you and what they are saying. In fact, this post is probably showing up in Trackur’s own feed… hi guys!
This is the hard part; depending on the review, you will have to decide how to react. In many cases, the negative customer is miserable because they feel dissatisfied with the customer service. Simply letting them know that you are aware of their complaint is a step in the right direction. After acknowledging them and their complaint, invite them to send you a private email or call directly to make their problem better. Make sure you deal with this complaint immediately. This person has already shown they will go online and write. This means if you help them they will tell everyone about it and you can turn that negative review into a strong positive. If you fail to help them, they will write an even worse review about you, so make sure you get it done.
Above all else, do not lose your cool. You are responding for two reasons. The first is because you are concerned with good customer service, the second is that you want everyone to know you are concerned with good customer service. If you get angry, everyone will see it and you will go down as one of the big idiots of web history. Nestle’s screwup is a good example of how not to treat your customers on social sites.
As long as you are on top of what people are saying about you on the web and you respond with class, you will be just fine. Good luck out there!