You want to satisfy your customers with every transaction; you know this. However, when a customer has a less-than-stellar encounter with your company, the customer many have trouble realizing that this is the case. In some cases, this could lead to the customer posting a negative review for you—potentially on an online forum or website.
A negative review can give you some idea of where you are lacking in satisfying customers, but it may also drive away future business. That’s not a good thing! It is important that you understand exactly why customers leave negative reviews and what you should do if you receive one. Also, if possible it is best to prevent the poor reviews in the first place. We will discuss how you can do just that.
Why DO Customers Leave Negative Reviews?
While many individual problems can lead to a customer leaving you a bad review, the reality is that most reviews are left because of the client feels like you are not available and listening to his or her concerns. Think about how you handle “problems” in your business. Are you available, ideally by multiple methods, so that you can help your customers if they are uncomfortable or unhappy? Do you gather real-time customer feedback? Customers who have another forum for expressing their displeasure, particularly one that may allow them to receive recourse, will be less likely to leave you a negative review.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Poor Review?
The most important thing to do if you receive a poor review is to not panic. Take some time to look at things from a detached perspective. The last thing you want to do is to respond to it if you are angry or upset. If you do that, you could make the situation worse or make your business look bad to other prospective customers.
Once you have calmed down, decide if the complaint is something you can resolve. If the situation is one you can fix, fix it. Whether or not that leads to your review being amended or removed, is inconsequential. Your goal is to make your customer happy so that he or she is likely to use your service again.
If the feedback remains, you may have one more option. If the forum allows you to respond, do so in a mature, matter-of-fact manner. Use this opportunity to show potential customers that you take care of problems and that even if there is an issue that you will resolve it.
How Can You Prevent Future Negative Reviews?
As mentioned, customers who have another forum for expressing displeasure are likely to use it. Perhaps you can utilize tools like in-person surveys, iPad survey app or use an offline survey app to gather information about your customers’ experience. When you can gather this information before it hits the public forum, you will have a chance to make things right. Finally, look at your company from the bottom to the top and see if any areas are ripe for negative reviews. Finding these weak spots before they have a chance to harm you can help you keep your name in a good light.
If you would like more information about how to gather real-time customer feedback, and ideally prevent negative reviews online, reach out to us at QuickTapSurvey. We would love to help you get the most from your consumer research investment.
Also published on Medium.