Negative Online Reviews – Opportunities or Disasters?

We’ve all seen businesses – large and small – get into trouble on social media because they either didn’t have a plan or they didn’t follow it. Social media is a great tool to connect with your target audience, but without a plan, it will lead to disaster. So, let’s dispel a myth – “My business isn’t on social media, so I don’t need a plan.” Well, social media is a two-way conversation. You might not be talking about your brand on social media, but it will be talked about by your customers – and that will be seen by your potential customers, media, partners, investors, and competitors.

After a Bethesda-area salon opened, it received several reviews on Yelp. The manager thanked customers who posted positive reviews. But, what really caught my attention were the consistent and transparent comments she posted in response to the negative reviews:

“Our aim is to send every single one of our clients out the door looking and feeling fabulous and obviously we’ve missed the memo with you. We are so disappointed to hear about the series of events at your recent appointment. Please accept our sincere apology for your experience. If you wouldn’t mind, you can email me directly at [store manager’s email address] so we can make this up to you.”

By acknowledging the customer’s frustration and then offering to speak with the customer, the manager took responsibility and helped protect the salon’s brand. How? Because when you have a plan, you’ll know what and when to say it. Negative reviews aren’t pleasant, but they can become opportunities to repair and rebuild customer relationships.

What people have to say online about your business will either enhance or damage your reputation. Whether you’ve dipped your toe into the social media pool or taken the plunge, you need to pay attention to what is being said online and be prepared to put your social media plan into action.

So, what’s your plan? Are you prepared to respond to negative reviews and comments? If not, we should talk.


(Image: Geralt on Pixabay)