How to Deal With a Bad Online Review

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How to Handle a Bad Review

By Mr. Retail

Last month we discussed stopping a bad review before it happens. Well, even the best of intentions on the front end can still net you a bad review on the back end. So when that happens, how do you deal with it?

The first thing I like to do when I get a bad review is nothing. That’s right, I said nothing. I say this as you need to allow time for your brain to process all the emotions that well up inside of you, so you can make quality decisions on how to handle it. This might take 30 minutes, a few hours, or even 2 days. No matter what, wait till you simmer down to deal with it.

The second thing I want to do is get to the root of the issue with the client. So I start by talking to the salesperson and the installer. A fact-finding mission if you will. Get their side of the story. Then, and only then, call the client. Give them an opportunity to vent their frustration and take notes of what they tell you. And then repeat back to them what you observe to be the problem. Make sure you understand what their real issue is as it may be completely the opposite of what you think. Maybe they were just having a bad day and came upon an employee having a bad day when they picked up their car. Or maybe your company just screwed up. It happens to the best of us.

The third thing I do is focus on the resolution. I try and do whatever is in my power to solve their concern as long as I don’t feel like they are trying to take advantage of me. If I can’t solve their problem, as I don’t think there is one, I will tell them that as well.

The fourth thing I do is make a decision about responding to the review. Sometimes I do absolutely nothing. Sometimes I gently refute the review. And sometimes I simply admit we made a mistake and publicly apologize to the client in my response. I also put in there that we called or attempted to call the client and verbally apologize.

NavToolThe fifth thing I do is ask the client if they would be willing to remove, revise, or comment on their initial review stating that we made good on our promise to rectify the situation. If they don’t do any of the things above, I will add a comment to the review saying we fixed the issue on such and such date, that the client was happy, and that we would try harder as a team in the future to avoid any mishaps. Being humble can go a long way with future clients that are reading your reviews.

This last item may or may not be needed depending on the outcome of the bad review. In short, our team will become hyper focused on getting 5-10 reviews as quickly as possible to bury that bad review. That way if a potential client is reading your reviews, they will see several positive ones before happening on a negative one.

About Mr Retail
Mr Retail offers opinions and information on car audio retailing for CEoutlook. He wishes to remain anonymous. He has owned a retail store in this country for over 20 years now. Mr Retail loves what he does and loves the 12 volt industry and is happy to share his hard won expertise.

Photo via ConstantContact

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