How to Respond to Negative Reviews With Your Brand in Mind

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Negative reviews online

The reality of running a business is that you can try your best, but you can’t please everyone all the time.

This is made clear by inevitable negative reviews on Google, Yelp, or various social media channels. But just because a negative review is out in the world doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it.

In fact, you can turn an upset customer into a lifelong champion of your brand with a proper response. Sometimes a customer will even remove or edit their review when they realize how much you care about their experience.

Here’s how to respond to a negative review that comes your way:

  • Respond as Soon as Possible

Time is of the essence when it comes to responding to a negative review. With a quick response, you’ll show the customer that you respect the fact that they went out of their way to provide this feedback, and they’ll be more likely to interact.

  • Be Polite, Be Sympathetic, Be Empathetic

You may see those snarky responses to a customer’s negative review going viral all over your social media timeline, but empathy is important. This customer took their time and spent their money to use your services. Then they took the effort to share valuable feedback with you. Starting the response on the right foot is important. Take a deep breath, empathize and make sure you’re responding in the right way. In fact, consider the age-old advice: speak to someone how you want to be spoken to. This goes beyond simple damage control. Show that you’re taking steps to solve the overall issue.

  • Apologize

This may seem simple, but in the course of addressing and working to solve an issue cited in a negative review, make sure that you also simply tell the customer that you’re sorry. Genuinely. Avoiding passive-aggressive phrases such as, “We’re sorry you feel that way,” and simply say those two important words. Meet the customer on their level, and acknowledge the issue plainly.

  • Offer a Solution to Their Issue

If service wasn’t up to standard or if there was any issue with the work provided, offer to make things right. The customer won’t always accept restitution, but the offer goes a long way. It’s key that the customer knows that your ultimate goal is to provide them with a positive experience. And others who read the interaction online will see that your business is obviously one that wants to do right by their customers. It generates goodwill with prospects who are researching your service online. They can see that if something goes wrong, you will work hard to correct it, and that helps you convert them into customers.

  • Go Beyond the Public Apology and Reach Out Privately

In some cases, you should also consider reaching out to the customer privately, if possible, to offer them a solution, showing them that you hear them and plan on making sure the issue doesn’t happen again. Keep in mind, privacy is important, so don’t spam their inbox if they choose not to respond.

Get Help with Reputation Management

From deciding how to respond to negative reviews to managing your local listings online, reputation management can be exhausting. If you work in the home service industry, consider converting to a Neighborly franchise to get some extra support.

Not only do our franchisees get help with managing their online presence; they’re able to serve customers through a nationally recognized brand and get cross-promotion backup from the whole family of Neighborly brands.

So, take the pressure off. Call the Neighborly corporate office at 888-387-8018 to discuss franchising with us, or contact us online today.