It’s very easy to take bad reviews too personally. And dealing with a bad review can also be aggravating. You can likely think of hundreds of other things you’d rather deal with than bad reviews.
But not everyone will leave a positive review. It just comes with the territory.
As a business owner, you take an immense amount of pride in what you do, which makes it easy to take it personally when you receive a bad review. You want to stand up for your company! But before you respond to a bad review, take a moment to collect yourself. Or, better yet, if you trust someone in your company to handle the reviews, have that individual respond instead.
But the way you respond is very important. In fact, you can use a bad review as a great opportunity to demonstrate that your brand will do the right thing.
Whether or not the mistake was your fault, you should handle a negative review appropriately. Use the following steps to turn a wrong into a right.
With both positive and negative reviews, respond right away. An immediate response shows that you care about your customers.
If appropriate, apologize and show sympathy: “We’re sorry! This is not our usual quality, and your coffee should have not taken so long.”
Even if it was definitely not your business’s fault, at least acknowledge the problem. Say something along the lines of, “Your latte should not have taken that long to make. l will look into this specific situation.”
Even if you know what happened, offer to learn more about the situation. Remember: Most of the people who read reviews of your business, including your response to negative comments, may be your future customers.
Take your response offline, and don’t start or carry on an online long discussion or “war.” Your future customers won’t care about the discussion. Give the customer who complained your contact information so they can reach out to you. Here’s an example of what NOT to do.
I don’t imagine that the customer, or any future customer who reads this discussion, will return to this establishment. This is a very harsh example, but you get the point.
If a customer is unhappy with the quality of a beverage or service, remember a few important points when responding.
- Even if you feel as if you are being trolled, understand that you CAN resolve this issue. How you respond to trolls or legitimate complaints can make or break your online reputation.
- If it turns out the mistake was your business’s fault, use it as a moment to teach a team member. However, never use a bad review as a way to shame a team member.
- As harsh as it may sound, your customers typically don’t care about the reasons why your service was slow or an order was incorrect. To them, it just sounds like excuses. Avoid trying to supply reasons as to “why” it was bad.
How to respond to poorly made drink
Hello, [INSERT NAME]. We’re very sorry that you did not receive the quality of drink you were expecting. The [insert drink] is one of the most popular drinks on our menu, and we’re sorry you didn’t get to experience it. We would love to make this situation right for you. Would you please email us at [insert email] so that we can resolve this issue for you?
How to respond to slow service
Hello, [INSERT NAME]. We’re very sorry that you didn’t get your drink within a reasonable amount of time. We value our customers very much, and we’re sorry that in this instance we did not make you feel valued. Would you please email us at [insert email]? We would love to resolve this issue. Thank you!
Add this statement if the customer complained about your service causing them to arrive late for a scheduled appointment.
We respect your time, and we’re really we caused this delay.
How to respond to slow shipping
Hello, [INSERT NAME]. We’re very sorry that your [INSERT ITEM] was shipped to you [PROBLEM HERE]. We appreciate you and the support you give us by ordering our product. We understand that this should not have happened, and we would love to correct the situation for you. Could you please email us at [INSERT EMAIL]?