Negative Feedback - Take It Offline

You are feeling pretty good about your online presence, you are starting to get some referral business, your AdWords are triggering some action and your customer service team is staying on top of ensuring that all digital communication is being handled in a consistent, professional manner. Then it happens… a one star review. What now?

Does your company have an action plan for when a negative review, comment or tweet comes through? Below are some best practices for how to resolve these occurrences.

Take a moment to review and gather information – DO NOT RESPOND IMMEDIATLY

  • take a moment to review the message and gather any information that you may have about this situation or customer.

  • have a conversation with your team and anyone who may have information about what had transpired in order to determine what the next steps are going to be.

  • whether this is a Google Review, Facebook Post or Tweet, a response needs to go out, so now is time to decide what the response is going to be.

You have all of the information you need – RESPOND, BUT TAKE IT OFFLINE

  • a response to a negative review is in some cases more important than one to a perfect review. When a potential customer is deciding to do business, they are going to look for these things. An ignored problem or issue does not look good for your business.

  • in most cases, a response stating that you are aware of the issue and would like to reach out to speak directly works best. Whether that is via telephone, email, Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Message etc., do your best to remove it from the public eye.

You have spoken to everyone, checked your records, but can not find this person

  • in this case, it is typically best to formulate a somewhat generic response advising this person that you are sorry that they had a negative experience, but that your team is committed to using feedback as a tool to improve and would like to speak with them further regarding their experience.

  • wait a few days and see if this person has reached out or any additional information has been received.

  • if the answer is no, there is always the option of submitting a request to the site owner to see if the review can be removed based on a lack of response and having no record of this customer in your system.

In closing, when it comes to reviews on a digital platform, some individuals utilize these forums as a way to communicate issues which they were uncomfortable dealing with at the moment or when a member of your team did a follow-up call/email believing that it is possible you as a business may not see or pay attention. I do not like to use the term keyboard crusader, but have seen it happen more than once.

This being said, I also noticed less of this type of behavior when there is a strong digital presence where all comments, tweets, reviews etc. are being responded to, whether they are good or bad.

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