Negative customer reviews are the best thing that’s ever happened to your company. You might be saying to yourself:
“What are you talking about? Negative customer reviews are terrible! They drive customers away, and they can often be disparaging of all the hard work I’ve put into my business.”
All those things are true: Negative customer reviews can drive customers away. And they do hurt to read when you’ve put a lot of hard work into your business. But do you know what’s even better than feeling good about your business? The truth.
The truth stings sometimes; it can be a tough pill to swallow. It’s like going to the doctor when you’re not feeling well; you’ll avoid it because you don’t like it, while knowing that you need to go if you want to get better.
Negative Reviews Give us the Truth!
The truth found in negative customer reviews used to be quite expensive. It was called market research, and businesses used to, and some still do, spend a lot of money and waste a lot of time trying to figure out what customers thought about their product.
Do you like x? Why don’t you like y? If y was replaced by x, would you like it better?
Today, most businesses don’t have to waste their time and money on market research. All you have to do to find out what people think about your business is to queue up Google+ Local, Yelp, or other online review sites and you’ll find out real quick.
Every time your business gets a negative customer review, you should try to respond to that customer directly. Reach out to them and tell him or her that you appreciate them as a customer and that you value their input.
If they didn’t include it in their review, ask them why they were so dissatisfied with their service. Ask them what you could have done differently to make their experience a better one in the future.
Always look at a negative customer review as an idea for improvement. There’s always something you can be doing better, and these reviews tell you exactly what you should be doing.
Without mentioning the fact that you’ve gotten some negative reviews, it’s a good idea to tell your customers how you’ve been working to improve x, y and z lately.
Be sure to list some concrete things you’ve done to move toward excellence; this will help cut down on any negative feedback about your company.