Small Business Center
By Angel Cicerone, Tenant Mentorship
You know that positive online reviews build credibility and trust with prospects. Hopefully, you’ve trained your staff to remind customers to post words of praise on the review site of their choice. But what about bad reviews? What do you do about the slightly or extremely disgruntled customer? Do you just let them walk and hope they don’t spew venom online?
Here’s a better strategy for controling negative reviews: Ask for them! If you sense a customer is having an issue, ask them to tell you about it. Solve the problem privately before it becomes public. But in the event the disappointment comes later — at delivery, for example — use one of these clever tactics to steer the negative feedback away from the review sites and directly to you!
New York City’s Greek Eats attaches a card to each order, asking for “notes” about the order. It’s a polite and subtle suggestion to voice your opinion, and the restaurant makes it easy for the customer to contact it directly should the customer have a problem.
Modani Furniture sends an email after purchase. In fact, it sends multiple emails. It’s a much bolder approach that asks, “Would you recommend us?” then offers two links. The first leads to Google reviews. The second suggests point-blank, “Your experience not so great?” with a link to contact the company directly. It’s a brilliant way to steer customers to privately voice their concerns.
Of course, if someone sends you negative feedback directly, be sure to resolve the problem quickly so it doesn’t escalate into a public and negative review. Don’t be afraid of criticism. Ask for it! It will help you create a better, more customer service- oriented business and keep issues private rather than on a public forum for all to see.