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How to deal with a bad review on Social Media

Bad reviews on social media, talk about a sticky situation.  For a business, good reviews are like gold.  Customers are actively looking at Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc to tell them if a business is worth their time, energy and money.  I know personally I have researched all kinds of businesses from restaurants, travel/tourism, doctors, rehab facilities, etc to see who gets high marks and who falls short.

 

Before we delve into how to respond, just remember everyone has an opinion (for good or for bad). You could have impeccable customer service, have done everything right and a customer/patient can still get angry. I do believe not every person out there will be a good patron for your business.  I try and remember that when the occasional negative review gets posted.  Sometimes it is our fault as a business and we need to do better, sometimes they were mad because we wanted them to pay the monies owed to us and sometimes it’s for attention. 

Regardless of the reason, here are some ways to help navigate a bad review on social media.

 

  1. Get your head out of the sand… if you read nothing else from this blog this is the biggest point of all. You absolutely, 100% cannot ignore it. You have to respond.  I even think a bad response is better than no response.  As a business owner if you do not respond, it shows you don’t care about your customers. Even if the review is totally unfounded, you still have to respond.
  2. Keep it together…let’s say a particular review has absolutely no merit to it and you know deep down this customer/patient is just trying to mess with your business, get out of paying you money, being vindictive, etc you cannot let that show through in your response. If you get emotional, it’s going to create a war with the person who wrote the review and then everyone else and their mother will be able to see it.  Responses need to be well thought out and not reactive. 
  3. Be the Bigger Person…no matter the reason for the negative review you are going to have to apologize. It might physically pain you, but it has to be done.  Think about how it looks to a brand new, potential client/patient. If they know nothing about you, have never met you in person before, they will judge you based on your response (because it’s all they have to go off of). Showing sympathy, apologizing and offering to make it right shows a new client that even if you do screw up you appear to be a nice person and are willing to fix it.
  4. Get off social media…as quickly as you can try and get that conversation to move offline. Offer them your email, phone number or a private message anything that stops the flow of that conversation.  Send a carrier pigeon if you have to!  You never know what someone might say, it’s best not to find out in public.
  5. Get some good reviews…it’s not suggested to hide or take down the negative review. Once you have responded to the negative review, see if the customer will alter or take the review down.  I have had that happen before.  I negotiated with the terrorist and she took the review down.  In case they won’t, go seek out five awesome patients and have them write you reviews.  Those five reviews will go on top of the bad review and will start to push it down so it’s not the first one seen when someone visits your page.

 

A couple months back, we had a received a negative review.  This was a member at one of my kickboxing gyms.  I had responded as politely as I could, apologized for her experience, offered to make it right and put my personal phone number in my response.  Was her complaint reasonable? No she wanted her money back for classes she had already taken.  I made it right in her mind and she took the review down.  To me, it was worth the refund to get the negative review off the FB business page. 

Here was my response:

 

“Hi __________

We’re sorry to hear about your experience.

We’re usually known for our exceptional customer service and we regret that we didn’t live up to those expectations here.

If you are open to discussing this further please call us as at (my phone number) and ask to speak with Kassandra one of our owners.  She is also a chiropractor & has almost seven years experience with treating kickboxers.  She would love the opportunity to discuss where went wrong and how we can make it right.

We’d greatly appreciate the opportunity to make things right and work towards earning back your business. “

 

Feel free to use my response as a template.  Good luck!