Now that you’ve read about why you need online reviews and how to grow your review count, you’re well on your way to becoming an expert on the subject! The final step is figuring out how to respond to these reviews—specifically, how to deal with less-than-glowing reviews. Not every guest will be 100 percent satisfied with every service. It’s perfectly okay to have a few bad reviews: it’s how you deal with them that counts.
Timing is everything! Don’t let a negative review sit for two days before responding. You want to minimize the number of people who read this bad review before you address it. Quick responses show your followers and potential clients that customer satisfaction is a priority for your business and that you can take care of problems efficiently.
The best way to diffuse a negative situation is to apologize. This does not always mean admitting that a mistake was made. You can express regret that the reviewer’s guest experience did not meet expectations and then take the conversation offline (either by phone or e-mail). Since you cannot control the outcome of the conversation that will follow, it is better not to publicize it. Some guests will never be satisfied with your solution, and you don’t want this potential negativity to influence others.
Once you take the conversation offline, offer your client a practical solution. For example, if the client is not happy with her new color, propose for it to be fixed at no charge. It is best to suggest two or three possible solutions whenever possible. When the client has a choice, there is a higher probability of satisfaction.
Always remember to keep calm. A bad review is not the end of the world. On the contrary, a few negative reviews among several great ones increases authenticity and will actually build trust with your audience.