Any business that deals directly with the public knows the frustration. Satisfied, happy customers rarely make a comment. The occasional unhappy customer is all to willing to tell the world. Today, that includes the possibility of leaving a negative review online. For a while, businesses felt it was better to just ignore the haters and focus on more pleasant interactions. That, however, can be a mistake. Here are some of the things you can do to handle negative online feedback and comments.
Don’t Ignore Them
Negative comments can have a long shelf life online. It is generally not a good idea to ignore negative comments or feedback. At the very least you want to acknowledge these comments. This acknowledgement accomplishes several things, including demonstrating that you are paying attention to your reviews and are responsive to your customers.
Reach Out and Have Them Contact You
Don’t try to win a debate online. Instead, acknowledge the experience and ask that the person reach out directly to you. This way you can handle the issue one-on-one, away from a public forum.
Ask What They Want
Once someone with a negative experience reaches out, hear them out. Part of the conversation may include “What would you like me to do?” If it is a simple and reasonable request that seems like it will resolve the issue, do it. If it is an unreasonable request, counter with an offer that you are comfortable making. Let them know you would like to resolve the issue.
Encourage Positive Feedback
Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers that you would appreciate positive feedback online. Many are willing to share positive experiences when they are politely asked.
Business owners, especially small business owners, have to wear many hats. This may include online reputation management. If you haven’t searched your business name or category online recently, you should know that your competitors and potential customers likely are. Be proactive in managing your online reputation or find a trusted employee who can.
Business insurance can’t protect you from negative online feedback, but it can help protect your business from a series of other unfortunate events. Let us help find you an affordable business insurance plan. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for a quote today. We will be happy to do the shopping for you.
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