No matter what, every business will have to deal with disgruntled customers. It is just a facet of owning a business. With the power of Social Media, those disgruntled customers now have the ability to broadcast their dissatisfaction to potential customers and certainly their friends.
A negative review on Yelp may be harmful to your business if you deal with it the wrong way. In the past, we have talked about how to use Social Media for customer service, but we have yet to address the problem of dealing with problems as they arise. Here are 4 tips that will help you learn how to handle negative reviews before they ever happen:
#1: Recognize and Respond
From time to time, there will be disgruntled customers. When you do see them, as an owner or manager, you should try to recognize the situation immediately and respond quickly. The best thing to do is to keep the issue from walking out your door, anxious to use social media to express dissatisfaction. If a negative response is posted, you can respond on most platforms privately or publican. An honest reviewer will you are trying to solve the issue and appreciate your response.
#2: Assume Ownership
Remember that the “customer is always right.” Regardless of who is right or wrong, you have to cater to the customer. It’s not worth being stubborn over. When you assumed the role of business owner, you gave up being an individual person. You are now the embodiment and representation of the company. Never argue. Never be defensive. Never make excuses. Assume ownership of whatever went wrong, and change the situation from a confrontation process to a resolution process. Lear from each mistake to avoid future issues.
#3: Everybody Loves Gifts
Refunds and discounts may be necessary to completely smooth over the resolution process. Even if it was a minor inconvenience for the customer that resulted in minor dissatisfaction, try to offer them some sort of compensation. A little effort goes a long way. For situations that are more severe, be prepared to handle it more delicately and react accordingly. Sometimes a few discounts won’t be enough. Have a plan and train your staff to recognize the different situations.
#4: Address the Problem
Try your hardest to analyze the situation and address the underlying cause of the problem. If it happened once, it may happen again if the root cause isn’t uncovered. Make sure that the same problem doesn’t happen again by taking necessary precautions. Train your staff to be aware of the current problems. Have brainstorming meetings to figure out what you and your company can do as a whole to avoid future problems.
Always make customer service a top priority. No matter what platform you are reached in, phone, in store, or online, try to provide customers with a worthwhile experience. This will be enough reason for people to want to want your product or service. By following the steps listed, you will be able to prevent negative reviews.
How have you dealt with angry customers in the past? Did it work? If you have any other tips, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
John Zahn is a Co-Founder of Omnibeat. As a long-time business owner with an interest in technology, he strives to help businesses embrace new technology while sharing their unique story online. John loves helping business owners “Catch the Wave of Digital Marketing.”
Omnibeat is the digital marketing outsource solution for growth in Los Alamitos and the greater Long Beach area.