With all the social networking and on-line review sites out there, I hear a number of businesses indicate that they are reluctant to create profiles and interact for fear of a negative review or feedback.
It seems most small business owners aren’t sure how to handle negative or less than flattering feedback that’s been posted on-line. Here are 5 ateps to managing these situations.
1. Respond as soon as possible. Providing a timely response makes you look good and show that you’re concerned about their comment.
2. Respond online once and once only. You want to avoid getting into a back and forth public dialogue to ensure you respond once only. The situation can only get worse if you go back and forth.
3. Apologize to them on this same on-line forum. “I’m sorry to hear that you had a less than remarkable experience at our restaurant today. And as the owner of the business…”
4. Tell them how you’re remedying the situation so it doesn’t happen in the future. “And I can see how that happened. In order to better prepare our team for situations like this, we have implemented the following ….to prevent this kind of experience in the future.
5. Make it right. Invite them back on the house, give them gift cards. Depending on the situation and the business, you’ll need to establish what you’ll do in order to make the situation right. The benefit to this is that the rest of the online community will see the effort you put into remedying the situation and that’s valuable in your community.
Unforeseen problems can happen and you want to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. Make sure you’ve employed a tool like Google Alerts www.google.alerts to let you know when your name, business or products are being talked about online. Set up alerts on a daily basis to keep on top of anything said about you online and respond to remedy any negative comments.