I will be offering a comprehensive training course on online reputation management for businesses. I will specifically be addressing the steps that businesses should take when faced with a negative review.
First step: Do not ignore to respond, the whole World can see and can interpret lack of response as rudeness.
Second step: If you do not feel emotionally ready to respond, get a social media expert to respond for you. The social media expert will balance between how you feel as a business owner, the reputation of your business and the client’s feelings and point of view. The social media expert is expected to post a balanced response that satisfies the reviewer while making sure to protect the business as well. In most cases it is a tough balancing act.
Often, clients are telling the truth especially when they take time to put down deep details which include dates and time.
While accepting the mistake publicly, may cause you legal action if the apology is construed to mean acceptance of wrongdoing, do not say ‘I’m sorry’.
Take it offline. Say I totally understand how this is concerning to you. I would like you to give me an opportunity to resolve it to your satisfaction. Offer contact information for the reviewer to reach you.
On the very minimum don’t threaten the reviewer with court action etc. It is very well known that 95% of people who verbally threaten court action never follow through (I learned this when I was in the banking sector. While I was in the escalation line, we received threats of court action every single day but not many followed through).
Do not make a social media post appealing to your friends for support because they were not present at the time and have no way of knowing who was right or wrong between you and your client. In other words, do not call for mob justice against your client. Do not close doors, do not burn bridges. More training coming soon.
Author: Lucy Jeffrey
Social Media Trainer
Former High School Teacher
Former Senior Banking Manager
Founder and CEO of The Entrepreneur Nation