Today, more and more people are turning to the Internet to get information about products and services they are interested in. And with popular review sites, like Yelp, it has become even easier for customers to give feedback about any business, both good...and bad. And whether you're receiving good or bad reviews, there's an appropriate response for handling each one.
Bad reviews can be hard to deal with. After reading something bad about your practice it's easy to get defensive about the situation, and you may be even more frustrated if the review is a one sided version of the whole story. But, the bad review is out there and responding negatively will only draw more attention. So, how do you handle a bad online review? We've got a few tips of what you shouldn't do when dealing with negative reviews!
The number one thing not to do - ignore the bad review. If you have the opportunity to publicly respond to the issue at hand, you should. That way, potential customers who read the review know that you're responsive and are looking for ways to help resolve the issue. While it's important to address the problem with a response to the bad review, the next step is to take the conversation offline so that both parties can express their concerns and agree upon a solution without bringing in more attention.
We know that when it comes to your business it can be hard not to get defensive if someone says something bad about you, especially if they tell a one-sided story. But, in this situation you can't quickly respond with the first reaction that comes to you. Take some time to really think about the problem at hand and come up with a logical and helpful response. Adding fuel to the fire is only going to result in another defensive response from the original customer, so it's important to show empathy and to put yourself in the customer's shoes.
Most likely the customer writing the review has a problem and is looking for a solution. And, while the customer may not always really be right, in this case, you should probably side with the customer. Explain that you understand they are unsatisfied with the service and offer x, y, or z to make up for their experience. This shows readers that you really value the opinions of each one of your customers, no matter how difficult they can be.
While bad online reviews aren't necessarily the best thing for your business, there is always a silver lining. Any bad review can be a lesson for your practice. While not every poor review is warranted, it's likely that it will open your eyes to something that went wrong, and might still be going on in your practice. Whether it was an issue with a specific staff member or a problem with one of your products, a little criticism can go a long way to opening your eyes to an issue you might not have been aware of before. And, maybe other customers have experienced the same thing and instead of letting you know about it so that you can fix it for next time, they just haven't been back in to see you. So make sure that you're learning from each bad review and making the necessary changes in your office so that it doesn't happen again.
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