Whether it is a personal observation from your date or a bad review from one of your customers, no one likes to hear negative comments. Negative feedback from a potential romantic partner is bad enough, but at least it will not put the future of your business at risk.
The same cannot be said about those negative reviews. Negative comments and criticism on social media and message boards have the potential to put your business at risk, driving away potential customers before you have a chance to respond.
It may not be fair, but dealing with negative reviews is a reality in the business world. The creation of the internet has allowed those less than flattering comments to travel far and wide, giving them a level of influence that would have been impossible a few scant decades ago.
You may not be able to stop those negative reviews and unflattering comments from appearing, and spreading, online, but how you respond to them could make all the difference. If you handle the situation properly, you have the power to transform even the most negative reviews into positive publicity for your business.
When you do encounter those negative reviews, and you will, it is important to keep your cool. It may be tempting to respond in kind or spread some vitriol of your own, but that reaction is unprofessional and will likely backfire badly. Instead of responding right away, take a step back, get your emotions under control, and try to see things from the customer’s point of view.
Read through the negative review thoroughly, noting the issues that have been raised and thinking about ways to rectify the situation. The customer who received a defective product may be happy with a free replacement. The buyer whose product was missing pieces might be thrilled at receiving the parts they need. Once you know the root cause of the problem, it will be easier to resolve those concerns.
You may need to do some sleuthing to identify the disgruntled customer, especially if they are using an anonymous account. If you cannot readily identify the customer, reaching out directly via message board or social media is likely the best approach.
When you conduct this type of outreach, others will be able to see how reasonable you are being, and that could be good for your business and your brand. Once you have reached out to the customer, you can begin to mend fences, not only with that buyer but with others who may have been concerned about the quality of your products.
Hopefully this type of timely outreach will help turn the unhappy customer around. If you do your job well, you may even be able to turn the reviewer into a loyal customer, and possibly an avid ambassador for your brand.
No one likes to see negative reviews, especially business owners. If you stay in business long enough and sell enough products, however, those negative reviews are all but inevitable. How you handle the bad publicity makes all the difference, and if you do it right, you could turn your first negative review into a rash of positive publicity for you and your business.