It happens to all businesses at some point – the negative review. We’ve all been there; the first thing you want to do when you spot that unfair review is write a ten point essay on why your customer service is, in fact, the best in the business, and why the reviewer doesn’t have a clue what they are talking about.
Unfortunately, that’s the sort of response that will end up going viral and making a laughing stock of your business. Before you do anything, take a deep breath, make a cup of tea, and give yourself a little time to take in what’s been said.
Do not, under any circumstances, get abusive towards your reviewer, even if they’ve been incredibly rude about you. Is the complaint reasonable, are there any aspects of it that do ring true, and where you could have done better? It’s a wise move to look into anything that’s been said before a full response is made.
Meanwhile, if the review isn’t abusive or defamatory, don’t be tempted to delete it. Just grit your teeth and write something along the lines of;
“Thank you for your valued feedback. We are looking the issues you have raised and will respond as soon as we can.”
Make sure that you do follow the complaint up, and make sure people who see the review KNOW that you’ve followed it up, too.
Don’t be tempted just to ignore anything you don’t like the sound of. In some cases, a complaint can be the wakeup call you need in order to improve aspects of your service or communication. If you’ve sold a faulty product or provided a less than perfect service, the reviewer may have legal rights to redress, so it’s a good idea to publicly offer a solution or invite them to contact you in private to help resolve their problem.
If potential customers see that you can handle complaints and bad reviews in a mature way, even though you actually want to stamp your feet and sulk, it looks much better than if you leave bad reviews unaddressed, delete them or respond in anger. Keep calm at all times.
If the review is abusive, defamatory or threatening, of course you are within your rights to ask to have it removed or remove it yourself. Never retaliate, simply delete the comments and if there is any truth to any of their complaints, ask for them to contact you privately, explaining that you’ve had to remove their comment but you would like to help.