Make a positive out of complaints
Local Business Matters David Eaton – WA Small Business Commissioner
NO matter how long you have been in business, there is nothing quite like the sting of a negative review.
With more opportunity for customers to share their opinions with the world via Google Reviews, Facebook and other platforms, every business owner needs to know how to address negative feedback in a very public space.
While it’s never nice to receive poor feedback on your service or products, it doesn’t need to impact your business – if you deal with it intelligently. You could even win new fans by showing how you respond positively to criticism.
Firstly, never ignore a bad review.
You should respond as promptly as possible, although avoid the keyboard when you are feeling hurt or angry.
If your customer’s concern is genuine, answer in a polite, professional manner, acknowledging the problem and accepting responsibility for the issue as the business owner.
After acknowledging the review, try to take the discussion off-line as quickly as possible.
Give the reviewer your email or mobile number so you can gather any additional details needed to resolve the matter privately.
There is a growing trend of misleading or fake reviews being posted by competitors, disgruntled staff or former partners.
It may be more effective to respond to fake reviews with a statement such as ‘While we take feedback seriously, we have no record of you being our client and believe you have reviewed the wrong business’.
Remember to encourage customers who are happy with your product or service to add their review.
The Small Business Development Corporation offers a range of online and in-person services.
Visit smallbusiness.wa. gov.au or call 133 140.