Got a Bad Customer Review? Now What?


From the AxSA Staff

No one likes to deal with #negativereviews, but they cannot be ignored. For every business, negative #reviews will always crop up, because it is nearly impossible to please everyone, and because, often enough, businesses just get it wrong. And while no decision-maker likes receiving a bad review, the truth is, if handled properly, it can actually turn out into something good. That is to say, the review can offer businesses an opportunity to reassess their own workflow and customer-engagement models, and once handled effectively, the review serves as an entree to secure the loyalty of a customer who can evangelize on behalf of the business later.

When addressing negative reviews, conscientious #decisionmakers know that the biggest mistakes they can make are to simply dismiss them, out of hand, or to disparage the #customer for not being satisfied. Rather, the decision-maker should take deliberate steps to improve the customer experience. Here are just a few thoughts on how to engage the customer:

— Act swiftly once you become aware of negative feedback. The longer it takes for you to do so, the more disengaged and unconcerned you appear, and the more likely it is that word of the negative experience will spread to existing and would-be #customers.
— Listen to the customer with an objective ear. Much of this information can be constructive, as you discern where and why there might have been breakdowns in your business’s ability to deliver services. (NOTE: every customer isn’t crazy or looking for a reason to be for disgruntle. Do not approach them with such one- dimensional labels.)
— Offer a solution to the customer that expresses regret for the #experience and reassures them of your willingness to make things right. Be willing to work with your customer on a resolution that speaks to their point of concern. Afford yourself some flexibility in order to do so. And be sure to thank the customer for the #feedback.
— Make internal adjustments, if and where necessary, in order to dodge a pattern of dissatisfaction from your customers. If the negative review was the product of a systemic failure, then you can trust that additional negative feedback will fall soon and fast until the matter is added.
— Turn the customer into an ally, and take the opportunity to follow up with him or her from time to time, just to get an idea of how they rate later experiences with your business. Remember that customers who take the time to vocalize a negative experience could be primed to do the same about good ones, making them the type of sober #brand ambassadors that your business needs.

Dismissing negative reviews does not make them go away. Instead, decision-makers must confront them head-on. And while they may not be able to convince some displeased customers, a concerted practice of addressing reviews can ensure that decision-makers will, at the least, develop a reputation for making things right for customers who, after all, did spend money at the #business – a point that, itself, should not be discounted.

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