As a business, you will encounter a negative review from time to time. After all, as hard as you try, you cannot please everyone. When encountering a negative review, there are a few steps to keep in mind to ensure you get the issue resolved and show future customers how well you handle negative reviews.
Once you have noticed a negative online review, it is important that you respond promptly to get the matter resolved quickly. This does two things - it shows the customer that you are wanting to resolve the issue quickly and it can show future customers who come across this review that you are proactive in resolving any negative feedback. Before responding, read over the review and put together a polite response that will show that your business is professional in dealing with negative feedback. The biggest downfall of most companies when dealing with negative reviews is that responses are made defensively which shows a lack of professionalism.
In your response to the customer, you will want to assure them that you will be happy to look into the issue to get it resolved for them and that you will follow up with them through email or a phone call. By taking your issue offline (or at least off of the review website) you can keep any private discussions between you and the customer contained and not in the public eye. This will help you and the customer be more comfortable and will not allow any sensitive information to be seen by the general public.
Once you have moved the issue offline, it is time to start digging into the issue to get it resolved as quickly as possible. A customer who has left a negative review is most likely not in a good mood, so it is important to stay calm and polite when engaging with the customer. Showing that you are calm and collected can put the customer at ease and help make the problem more resolvable. A good experience when resolving an issue can help to keep a customer coming back and can even help bring in more customers if they inform their friends of their great experience.
After resolving the issue with the customer, you can ask them to voluntarily remove the review. Most online review sites will not allow a company to remove reviews for obvious reasons, so you will need to convince the customer to remove it if you want to have it taken down. While some customers may want to leave it up, it is always worth asking as customers who have gotten their issues taken care of will be more than happy to remove the review. Having it removed can help keep your review score up and keep potential customers from being turned away due to the review. If you have a review that has been left by someone you believe was not a customer, you can contact the site owner to ask to have it removed.