Dealing with Negative Reviews

We’ve all been there. It starts off as a normal day: taking clients, making appointments, business as usual. During a lull you pull out your phone and check your salon’s social media page… only to read a terrible review from your last customer. In a few short sentences your whole day is soured. Even worse, bad reviews can have a tangible impact on your business. How do you manage the effects of negative reviews? Here are five tips on dealing with bad reviews in a productive and positive way.

1. Monitor

Before you dive in, start by reviewing your web presence. Are you on Facebook? Yelp? Another site? Monitor your social platforms regularly so you’re aware of all customer reviews, both negative and positive.

2. Build your reputation

No matter how satisfied your clients are, chances are they won’t think to leave a review without a little prompting from you. Mitigating the impact of bad reviews starts with managing your online reputation, and that means building up a backlog of good reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask clients who have had a positive experience to leave a review on Yelp!

3. Handle it

So you got a bad review. Don’t sit on it; be proactive. Respond to their review with professionalism, empathy, and tact, and remember that the client is ALWAYS right, no matter what. Make an effort to resolve their issue, or if it can’t be resolved, make sure that they feel their concerns have been heard.

4. Don’t feed the Trolls

No, these aren’t little dolls living in your computer. Trolls are people who start arguments online with the intent of deliberately provoking readers. If you live in a small town or have a small-scale business you most likely won’t run into this often, but everyone should be aware of it. (For more on this, check out Forbes’ ten tips to dealing with trolls.)

5. Grow

Remember, bad reviews happen to everyone. Don’t take them personally. If you’re able to use a negative review experience to learn and grow, you’ll be in a position to improve your virtual brand, better your business, and build a stronger relationship with that client.

So the next time you login to your business’ page and see that one-star review, take a deep breath, don’t panic, and keep these tips in mind so that you can transform a negative review into a learning experience for both you and your client.

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