Dealing with negative reviews is part of doing business in the social media age. Every business should expect to receive negative reviews occasionally. Negative reviews often contain a gem of truth that can help you improve your business and possibly expand your offerings.
- Before You Start: Your customers have posted reviews about your business on any of the local review sites.
- Learning Level: 3 | Building Skills
- Article Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Reviews Are Valuable Feedback
The big shift that social media brings to the business world is dialog. Now you can have real two-way conversations with your customers and community. In the past, businesses would broadcast their message through marketing channels to the public and wait for results. With social media, your customers talk with you. Sometimes you start the conversation, and sometimes they start the conversation.
One way that your customers talk to you is through reviews they write about your business on local review sites. In a review, you learn how successfully you created an excellent customer experience. A review provides you with valuable feedback.
The Gems Inside Negative Reviews
While everyone likes to get positive reviews, a negative review can be the most helpful review you receive. Most customers who have a negative experience in your business don’t bother to tell you. They just walk out and never return. That’s why getting a negative review is so valuable. They let you see what a customer expected and what the customer experienced. With this information, you can figure out what happened and respond.
- Did your staff fail to provide outstanding customer service? Of course, every person has a bad day or makes a mistake. But with a little research, you can figure out if your training covers this situation, or if your staff needs retraining, or if you have staff who are not committed to delivering your customer service expectations.
- Did you customer expect something that you were not prepared to deliver? You have defined your business and anticipated most customer requests. Was this customer expecting something that you did not consider before? Use this information to see ways you can grow your business by expanding your vision to include new ideas and perspectives.
Negative reviews often contain a gem of truth, some valuable bit of insight into how customers see your business or expectations they would like for you to meet. If you can get past the sting of the negative review and really examine the information it contains, you can constantly be improving your customer experience which increases customer loyalty and brings new customers to you.
Your turn: Have you improved your business from insights you receive through a negative review? Share your story here.