I will give you some techniques that you can use when answering your online reputation with good and bad reviews from customers. This will help protect your reputation and what your new customers and new staff see when searching for information on Google before coming to your business.
So first and foremost, you’re going to want to thank them. I know that might be difficult for a negative review because you might be upset, especially if it is unwarranted, but if someone took the time to leave your review online, you’re going to want to thank them for it.
It will also make you look like a business owner that cares about their customers. And remember, you’re answering that review for the entire world to see. not specifically for the individual person that wrote that negative review, because everybody else has seen it as well. Remember, it’s a reflection on you and your business.
Take Ownership Of The Review
If it is a negative review and it’s warranted, you’re going to want to acknowledge it. Take ownership of what the issue was. Be honest and sincere about it. People will appreciate that. Mainly people just want to vent and be heard- that’s why they post on review sites.
You don’t necessarily have to agree that what they wrote is true, especially if it isn’t. But you must handle your response in a way to not attack or call out the reviewer. This isn’t easy and can be difficult. That’s why I suggest having someone else read your review before posting it.
Say You’re Sorry
Apologize if it’s something that went wrong and it is your fault. We all know you’re not going to please everybody in the business. That’s just not going to happen. Especially for restaurant owners, as you put through thousands of customers a week. There’s bound to be somebody that isn’t happy with their experience.
And typically, they go online to take it out on their keypad and want to be heard. This simple act of posting a review makes them feel better. Times have changed from way back in the day when I had my restaurants. Customers would have to actually tell you to your face what was wrong and give you a chance to fix it. Those days are long gone, my friend.
But again, very important to remember, instead of getting into a fight, don’t argue with them (you won’t win that argument), apologize. We had to fix so many reputations from angry business owners that have gotten themselves into hot water and started name calling their customers online. Remember, once it’s online, it’s there forever. Don’t do it!
Take It Offline
If the situation dictates and you want to offer to make the issue right, take the communication offline. In your response, ask them to contact you at a company email address, or call the business. You will want to verify that it is the correct person and not just someone looking for a freebie. Yes, that does happen. Not very often, but it does happen on occasion.
I suggest using a company address because you don’t want your private information out there for the world to see. And there’s nothing wrong with asking someone to contact you offline to resolve a deeper issue.
Have Someone Else Read It
If you’re going to answer the reviews yourself, have someone else read it before you post it, because if they look at it and go… oh, I don’t know if I’d post that, you probably shouldn’t.
Give it to your partner, a manager, employee, friend, relative, someone that can give you an unbiased opinion of what you wrote. This is the best safeguard you have against ruining your reputation for your business online. Be careful!
That’s the benefit of having a service such as ours. We answer all reviews for our clients across all your review sites.