How to Handle a Bad Review: Five Steps for Rebuilding Trust

If you have ever had a bad review, then you know how devastating it can be. You may think that there is no way to recover from this type of negative publicity. But the truth is, if handle this bad review correctly, you will be able to rebuild trust with customers and improve overall customer loyalty! In this blog we will cover five steps to handle bad reviews, rebuild your customers trust, save your reputation and even increase sales!

Step One: Stay Calm and Patient. 

When you get a negative review, the first thing you should do is take a deep breath. Don’t panic, it will only make things worse. No matter how frustrated you may be feeling, do not let your emotions take over. Take the time to collect your thoughts rationally and clearly without anger or frustration in order to regain trust with customers. Remember your response will be public, so stay professional at all times.

Step Two: Look Into the Complaint

Did you miss shipping a piece of their order? Did the customer miss an email with the digital book link? Dive deep into the this specific customers order and complaint and find the mistake. If the customer made a mistake, you can professionally and compassionately communicate this to them along with a suggestion of how together you can fix the issue. If you made a mistake, be transparent and apologize along with what actions you will take to fix the issue. No one expects perfection 100% of the time. Most importantly, does it matter who is right if your customer had a negative experience? It’s crucial for your business reputation to be willing to work with customers even if mistakes were made in order to rebuild trust. Make them Smile Again!

Step Three: Respond to All Comments and Concerns

Communicate with ease, understanding and respect when responding to all reviews and comments. Write your response to the review like you would an email. Do not use all capitals or harsh language, even if it is a negative review. Try saying something positive first and then focus on ways that you can improve! This will help customers see how much you care about their experience with your business. 

This means, respond to positive reviews as well! Even if it is just to say thank you, your customers are reading what you have to say and will love that you are listening to all voices. This level of being present in your business will help your customer base build trust with you. 

Step Four: Take Action

Actually take the necessary steps to improve your customers experience. You have the opportunity to show your unhappy customer, as well as potential new customers that you will follow through and their hard earned money is safe to spend with you. If discounts or refunds are appropriate, offer them privately as to not encourage others to get their discounts by way of negative reviews. But, don’t stop there! 

Trying to find a silver lining in negative reviews can actually help your business. With this customer complaint you have the opportunity to identify what went wrong and fix it for future customers! Why did this happen in the first place? Maybe your initial communication was unclear or misleading? Maybe you need to add a step in quality control or additional training for staff. What can you do to make sure it is not a recurring customer complaint? For example, if a customer says they had terrible service, make sure your wait staff is trained to refocus on the customers needs. 

Step Five: Lastly, Be Proactive

Reach Out to Your Most Loyal Customers for Feedback. Ideally, you should have more positive reviews than negative. Ask your happy customers for their feedback. Ask them to submit a review as well! You can do this through a private Facebook group, email list, etc. The point is that you want your most loyal customers giving feedback on your business is a win-win activity. You get to hear what they like about your business so you can focus on the positive, as well as your business gets the well deserved boost from the positive review. You can also ask them to share their positive experiences with you on social media! The opportunity for feedback is endless. A heard customer is a loyal customer. You got this!!

You’ve taken the first steps to try and save your reputation just by reading this blog, but it’s not over yet! Remember these five essential tips for handling bad reviews. By following each of these simple steps you will be able to turn a negative into a positive. It will take some time and effort on your part, but we promise that it is worth every single bit of hard work put in!  

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