No matter what your chosen industry may be, your customers or clients represent the very reason for your company’s existence. If there was no one to buy your products or services, offering them would be completely pointless. For many business owners, including a large number of my clients, offering world-class customer service is a top priority, which helps to build client relationships and improve customer satisfaction. When a customer relationship sours, however, it can be very easy to take the situation personally, especially if the customer takes his or her concerns to the internet. It is important to understand how to address negative online reviews in such way that they can actually help your business grow.
Should You Respond to a Negative Review?
Before you decide to respond to a negative review on Google, Yelp, or any other platform, it is crucial to first fully analyze the entire scenario. If and when you decide to provide a response, you may wish to consult with a business attorney to ensure your company remains fully protected. When a disgruntled customer or former client posts something negative, be sure to think carefully about:
- Who gave the negative review? Was it really posted by someone with whom you had a business relationship? Negative reviews can be posted by virtually anyone, even if they have never patronized your business. The writer may not even have any actual knowledge of your company and could simply be trying to attract attention.
- What is the reviewer’s perceived problem? Often, a negative online review will address an actual mistake or shortcoming of your business. However, the raw emotion of the experience can lead to misplaced anger and aggression, possibly clouding what could be a very real concern.
- What is the real problem? Read carefully what is being said and determine where the person’s issue really lies. Was the problem with your products, your service, your facility, or something else?
Gather Your Own Information
If you can, identify the customer, review your business records and other available information, and try to determine exactly what happened. Speak with staff members, as needed, to develop a bigger picture and find out who or what lead to the dissatisfaction. You have a responsibility to identify real problems within your organization, and a negative review can actually become an opportunity for growth and improvement.
Respond if Necessary, but Be Careful
Before engaging a disgruntled customer, have a basic plan of what it will take to resolve his or her underlying problem. You should also be aware that your best efforts may not be enough, as some online reviewers are simply looking to create controversy for its own sake. However, even if reaching out with a proposed resolution does not fix that specific person’s problem, developing a tentative solution can at least help you prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.
A Naperville Business Attorney Can Help
Satisfying an upset client may require a difficult conversation, but one that is important to the long-term success of your company. It is, however, critical that you do not respond in anger, no matter how frustrated you may be or how exaggerated the review may seem. For guidance on dealing with such concerns, contact an experienced Hoffman Estates business law attorney at our office today. At The Gierach Law Firm, we can help you address dissatisfactions in a manner that is not only professional, but that can also allow your company to benefit overall. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation today.