While no business enjoys receiving negative complaints, dealing with these issues is something every business needs to be equipped to do. These six tips can help you address unsatisfied customers in a professional manner.
1. Identify the Underlying Problem & Promptly Respond
Some reviews or comments can come across as accusatory and highly critical. Whether it be poor service, defective merchandise, or a rude employee, determining and fixing the root of a complaint can help resolve the issue faster. Additionally, it can save you from future complaints down the road. Once you’ve identified the underlying problem, it’s important to respond promptly (if you choose to respond – see below for more information on that) to keep issues from spiralling out of control and to quickly appease a possibly unhappy customer.
2. Decide to Respond Publically or Privately (If at all)
Some negative reviews can contain constructive criticism that your business can actually benefit from. However, some reviews are not legitimate. When you run across fishy looking complaints rife with odd wording or suspicious links, these may be internet “bots” that are trying to build links back to their sites. You’ll need to decide whether to respond publicly on a case-by-case basis. You may want to make an initial response to a customer complaint on the site of origin (when you can) and try to move the complaint resolution process offline through telephone, email, or your formal customer support system.
3. Avoid Arguing
It is important to listen to the customer and keep an open mind. Whether or not the customer is right, stay away from giving excuses or being defensive which will worsen the situation. Instead, listen to their side of the story so that you can fully understand the situation and their side of the story. Often, customers want to be sure that you hear their concerns just as much as they want the problem to be solved.
4. Remain Cool, Calm, & Collected
It’s hard to think positively when responding to a review that paints your business in a negative light, but responding in anger can make the situation worse. Make sure you’re cool, calm, and collected before you write anything. Every company deals with negative reviews online. But remember, for every unhappy customer, you have happy customers who keep your business going.
5. Always Have Excellent Customer Service
This should always be a top priority, even when you have upset and complaining customers. By continuing to provide excellent customer service and responding to customer complaints in a calm and professional manner, your customers will appreciate the great service you provide, which can help drive positive reviews for your business.
6. Keep Moving Forward
Negative reviews are simply a reality for businesses today. Focus on resolving issues with clients and work to promote the positive aspects of your business across the web.