The Dread of Receiving a Negative Review
Maybe this has happened to you: you check your email and there’s a bomb in your inbox. A negative review from an unhappy client. Your heart drops as you open the message and begin to read.
If you’re lucky, it’s just a misunderstanding. You can reach out to the customer; you explain what happened; you and the customer come to an agreement. All is well.
Other times – it’s your fault. You, or one of your employees, did something wrong.
A Negative Review Sting When You Genuinely Love Your Clients
I recently got some feedback from a customer. Negative feedback! It struck me right to the heart.
You see, every business “loves” their clients. That’s just good advertising.
But I really love my clients. I make it a rule not to work with a business or a business owner than I can’t feel absolutely wonderful and proud of working with and I instruct my staff to follow that rule as well.
So when we receive negative feedback, it stings. Not because we feel like they’re being unfair, or anything like that. It’s because we feel like we failed them!
Dealing with Unhappy Clients
For each of your business it’s going to be a little different, but I’d like to share with you how I dealt with it. Maybe you can adapt my strategy for yourself.
Here’s what I did:
- I apologized
- I took full responsibility
- I offered an explanation (not an excuse)
- I offered to fix the problem for free – never charge to fix a problem that you created
- In this case, I offered an additional service for 6 months free of charge
Why You Should Give More
Epowet Digital Services was founded on the idea that we have the ability to help businesses be successful. When we mess up, we create an imbalance. In order to correct that imbalance, we can’t just correct the issue.
It is my philosophy, that we must provide additional value as well.
Is Giving More Worth It?
If you love your customers, yes. It’s worth it to make it right. Now, there may be clients that would take advantage of that. That would raise a fuss about a non-issue as a ploy to milk more services out of you without paying you fairly. In my experience, and observation, that’s actually pretty rare.
Even so, that’s why it’s important to be judicious in this approach. You should be careful to address each issue on a case-by-case basis, and provide the fix and value that you feel is generous and appropriate.
Marketing is About Making People’s Lives Better
At Epowet Digital Services, we call ourselves a Marketing Agency. But here’s a secret: that’s actually a misnomer.
See marketing isn’t just Social Media, Online Ads, Sales Funnels, etc.
Marketing is every single interaction you have with a customer.
And in order for those other “marketing” efforts to be worth their salt, you have to have your customer service experience polished as well.
A Negative Review is an Opportunity to Serve and Improve
Negative reviews are great, in their way. A client has reached out to let you know how to improve your service. They know you don’t want to see it. Most people are sensitive to the feelings of other people (even business owners). The fact that they wen through the time and trouble can be a measure of their honesty and vulnerability.
Honor that; honor it by fixing the issues; honor it by improving; honor it by ensuring that this issue doesn’t occur again.
Most rating platforms, like Google, use a 5-star rating system. Don’t shoot for a 5-star review. Pretend like it goes to 10, 11, or even 20 stars, and aim to provide that level of service. When you get a negative review, accept it with gratitude.
Do you need help growing and improving your online reviews? Check out our free resources to see how you can improve your review in a few simple steps.
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