As a business, no matter what service or product you provide, your reputation is based heavily on reviews from your clientele. Getting a good review from a customer is a great step toward getting repeat customers as well as prospecting new ones. Customers who give positive feedback are more likely to recommend your business to their like-minded cohorts in their industry, which acts as a sort of free marketing for you through word of mouth. What happens when you get negative reviews, though?
In today’s day and age, with internet stores and services becoming increasingly prevalent, reviews and feedback on your website or products are becoming that much more important. Think about it. If you’re shopping for, let’s say, a pair of shoes, you’re more likely to buy the shoes that have reviews that praise the shoe’s comfort and durability, rather than one that someone claims to fall apart after a week’s usage. Or, if you’re looking for a consulting company, you’re more likely going to use a company that people say are respectful to your business and willing to work with you rather than one that doesn’t listen to anything you say. Reviews from your customers can serve as a reflection of your business practice and your products, and you should be striving for those good reviews.
So what happens when you get negative feedback? No matter how hard you work or how much effort you put in to being the best you can be, you won’t be able to please everyone. There will always be those select few (and hopefully only a few) who didn’t appreciate what work you’ve put in and won’t be recommending your company to anyone.
The best way to go about rectifying this is to pay attention to what the reviewer says. The saying goes is that the customer is always right, which is something every business owner knows. The customer is coming to you based on their needs, and not based on your need for their business. Your job is to provide the best service for that customer, and that can include bending over backwards if the price is right. So if the customer is putting their opinions out there that there was something wrong in what you did, it serves as an opportunity for you to do better on your next venture.
Once you’ve properly identified what it is that was the issue the customer had, it’s time to implement those ideas into your business practices. If the reviewer didn’t like your representative’s tone or forcefulness toward closing a deal, you should preach manners and patience for your sales team, for example. There will be times where the customer you’re dealing with is just a tough cookie, and that does happen. There’s no reason you shouldn’t learn from those people either. Just because they’re really difficult to handle doesn’t mean you can’t improve your practices based on what you observed from them. As long as you can keep improving from each experience you have, you’ll be just fine.
So let’s build an example based on what we just learned. You run a basketball camp on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and you rely heavily on those reviews to get more kids in the area signed up for your weekly sessions. One parent found that their son Winston didn’t enjoy your camp because it didn’t cater to his lack of skill, and Winston’s teammates never passed him the ball. Winston came home sad every day, which prompted his mom to leave a nasty remark on your website’s reviews section among the many positive comments people have had about your programming. The takeaway shouldn’t be that you don’t accept kids like Winston to your camp who aren’t good at basketball and should take up other activities instead, rather you should make sure the instructors in your program attend to everyone’s needs, and make sure they include everyone equally, no matter the skill level. That way, Winston would be able to happily enjoy his time with his friends, and learn how to play basketball the right way.
Customer reviews are there to let you know that you’re either going in the right direction, or if there’s something you may need to improve in how you’re conducting your business. The positive reviews are there to encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing, and nothing more. The negative reviews should serve as a guide to what you can improve, and how to make your business better.