10 "Dos and Don’ts" of replying to bad reviews
You open Google search results and see a scathing review about your company. Oh no!
It can happen to any business. Maybe you think it's a fair complaint or maybe you think it's totally inaccurate and unfair. It really doesn't matter because that review will be associated with your agency's search results going forward. How you do or don't respond to that complaint will speak volumes about your agency. You should always respond because you aren't just addressing that particular's customer's complaint, you are also helping to shape your agency's reputation for any prospects or customers who may come across that review. What does the complaint say about your agency? What does the way that you respond say about your agency?
It's a tough subject, one that any agency can face. We offer 10 Dos and Don'ts for replying to bad reviews, along with a few helpful resources on the topic.
- Don't ignore bad reviews. Like fish left out on the counter, the stench will not lessen over time. Reply in a timely fashion.
- Do listen to the customer's issue and let them know they were heard in your response. Be sincere, honest, polite and helpful.
- Don't be defensive or take the complaint personally, even if it feels unfair.
- Do apologize sincerely. Thank the customer for providing honest feedback. Offer to make it right, if you can.
- Do explain that this isn't your usual standard of service.
- Don't over explain. Keep your reply short and to the point. A few sentences.
- Don't get in an online argument with a customer, either on review sites or social media. It will not go well for you.
- Do offer an offline way to continue the conversation or pursue the complaint.
- Do use the review to make internal service improvements. Talk it over with your staff.
- Do counter any bad review with good ones. Wonder how some businesses get so many good reviews? They ask! Are you asking your happy customers to post reviews about your agency? You should be!
For more thoughts on this topic, Hubspot has an excellent resource: The Ultimate Guide to Responding to Positive and Negative Google Reviews [With Examples]
We also liked this short 4-minute video on How To Respond To Reviews, Both Good and Bad