Marketing: Responding to a Negative Customer Review
According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 90 percent of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business. As a result, if there is a negative customer review on your gym’s Facebook, Google+ or Yelp! pages, this can be detrimental to gaining new customers.
With this in mind, here are strategies for responding to a negative customer review that can shed your gym in a positive light.
Take a Step Back
Before you jump into writing a long-winded paragraph about why a negative customer review is wrong, take a step back and consider the person’s comment carefully. Collect your thoughts. Only when you’re calm, cool and collected should you respond.
But, you should respond! See next point.
As a business owner or manager, it should be a priority to respond to any negative customer review that appear on your gym’s Facebook, Google+ or Yelp! pages. Negative reviews without a response only share one side of the story — and the keyword here is “negative.”
However, when responding, be wary of making your response defensive. Avoid critiquing the customer, and instead focus on the experience that particular customer had. Own up to any mistakes (if there were any made). And, even if there weren’t mistakes made, say you’re sorry the customer had a bad experience.
Now, if other potential customers see the negative customer review, they’ll also see your response as well — providing two sides to the story.
Offer to Discuss the Issue Offline
At the end of your response to a negative customer review, offer to discuss the matter offline. That way, you can work to resolve the situation in a non-public forum. Typically, customers are more agreeable over the phone or via email than they are when writing a one-sided review. Try saying something like this:
“I’m am very sorry to hear your experience with our company wasn’t satisfactory, and would love to discuss the matter further with you. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can come to a solution.”
If you’re able to come to a solution, ask them to edit or update their negative review (or remove it completely), stating the situation has been resolved.
Not all negative reviews are credible — some customers just like to complain. However, if you’re getting similar comments from multiple people complaining about the same thing, then you should take the feedback seriously and make changes. Doing so will improve your customer experience, and ultimately lead to more positive customer reviews.
Finally, keep in mind that when you’re responding to a negative customer review online, you’re not just responding to the one customer — everyone can see your response. So, be sure to write in a way that appropriately represents you and your gym’s culture.
For 3 steps to generating positive online reviews, click here.