Bad Reviews: The Smart Way to Address Negative Client Feedback

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responding to negative reviews from clients.

We all know the saying “you can’t please everyone.” It’s a wise statement but when you run a business, it’s your job to please everyone. So, what do you do when your business falls short of excellence in a client’s eyes and receives a negative review?

Nowadays, with sites like Trustpilot, Glassdoor, and Yelp, reviews are posted online for the world to see and can cause irreparable damage if left unaddressed.

For this reason, every negative review needs to be addressed quickly and smartly to save your business’s reputation and to keep your client from seeking your services elsewhere.

Understand the problem

Working in customer service is like walking a tightrope. Human error, technical malfunctions, miscommunications, unrealistic expectations…all these things and more can attribute to a client having a negative experience. So, the first thing to do in your response to a client’s negative feedback, is not debate the client on the issue of whether your business is responsible, but instead, understand the problem and how it did not meet the standard of excellence.

Act to solve the problem

Depending on the nature of the complaint, it might require you to take immediate action to rectify (i.e., faulty product, item never shipped, refund never issued, etc.). In your response, let your client know that you’re on top of it and will keep him or her updated on the situation until it’s been resolved. If it’s a human interaction issue such as a moody receptionist, abrupt responses, lack of communication, make sure your client knows that you take his or her feedback seriously and will get to the bottom of it to ensure that it won’t happen again.

Restore trust and thank the client for feedback

Assure your client that his or her experience is not the standard of care—that you have a history of providing excellent service and that if one client is unsatisfied, your business isn’t satisfied. Furthermore, let the client know that you’re always looking for ways to improve as a business and that it’s honest reviews like your client’s that help you achieve that goal.

Give a peace offering

Peace offerings aren’t always possible, applicable, or advisable, but if you can, give a complimentary gift. This can be anything from a discount on your client’s next purchase to a subscription upgrade or gift card. Without clients you don’t have a business. Show them how much you value them by going above and beyond.

In conclusion

There you have it – a smart and effective way to address negative feedback. Remember, as hard as it is to receive a negative review, it can be a flashlight that illuminates dangerous blind spots in your business’s operation. Use the reviews as an opportunity to mature as a business and WOW your customers at the same time.

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