Managing Agency/Account & Customer Reviews
There are few things as important to a business as its reputation in the marketplace. Up until today, a history of offering quality goods and services was all it took to maintain a “good name”. Customers could complain about their interactions with you, but only to those in their immediate vicinity who had a mind to listen. Now, the internet has totally changed the game. Today a single person can broadcast their viewpoint out to thousands, even millions, of people with the push of a few buttons. This represents an enormous opportunity for companies to save on advertising, but, it also opens a business up to malicious attacks from unhappy customers, ex-employees, and even their competition.
Whether you are a company offering goods and/or services, or an agency that represents these businesses, responding to a negative review can be challenging. No one likes to read criticisms of their efforts; even when those criticisms are fair. But, on many occasions, the negative reviews will be based on a completely one-sided view of a situation that may or may not have occurred as it is described. These “fictionalized” accounts can be frustrating, and scream out for a sternly worded response. Yet, it is imperative that you stop yourself before you make the situation even worse. Believe it or not, there are some simple, yet effective ways to turn this to your advantage.
First, do your best to remove your emotions from your response. Engaging in a screaming match with a negative reviewer can do more damage than the initial review. Potential clients like to see conflict-resolution handled with respect, transparency, and an even-handed demeanor. No matter how outlandish the claims against you, you will be better served by being professional than you ever will by being confrontational.
Next, it is important to address the specifics of the review with clear, concise responses. If the reviewer is convinced that he/she has been wronged, do your best to explain exactly how you researched their issue, planned a resolution, and when and how you communicated that possibility. This will give any readers the actual facts, and allow them to make up their own minds regarding the issue.
One of the most important things to remember when answering reviews is to make the effort to see things from the reviewer’s perspective. Even when they are completely off base, it is helpful to treat them as if they are making perfect sense, and their concerns are your primary focus. Empathy can have an incredibly powerful effect on those we find ourselves at odds with.
Lastly, always close with an apology to once more show potential customers reading your interaction that your concern is genuine. Many times the last impression a reader gets of you is the one they will carry with them, so make sure you come across as truly remorseful that a problem has arisen, dedicated to understanding how and why, and focused on the solution rather than the problem.
There is no correct way to answer criticism from the public or your peers in an online forum. Every way it can be done has its pros and cons, but if you follow these simple steps you will find that more of your interactions end in positive outcomes.
How do you handle reviews for your business and your clients? Have anything to add to the conversation feel free to jump in!
img source trip tease dot com
I'm Spencer Wade - strategist, designer, manager of people and ideas. Platinum Top Contributor for Google Search, G+ & AdWords - TC Mentor too. I’m the founder of Lift Conversions, a Google Partner agency, located in Chicago. I’ve completed Google’s tests - Search, Display, Video, Analytics, & Mobile, and enjoy being a part of the forums. My agency is also an Official City Partner in the Get Your Business Online effort with Instant Verifier access to help immediately verify business listings.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.