Your family entertainment center helps families have an amazing time. Your business also involves interaction with customers on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, and online review sites, such as Yelp. Some reviews from the public are glowing and positive, while other customers offer one-star ratings and negative reviews.
While it’s tempting to ignore those negative reviews and hope they become buried over time, it’s crucial to note that not only do they never disappear, your business reputation can suffer when you doesn’t respond to specific customer complaints. It only takes an instant for a poor response to a negative review to go viral. The internet is forever even if a hasty response is later deleted (think screenshots).
How, then, do you properly respond to negative reviews?
Take a Breather
Sometimes, a negative review can be very upsetting but don’t dive into your response right away. Instead, take a few minutes to collect your thoughts. This will prevent you from writing a reply that can lower your family entertainment center’s reputation.
Thoroughly Read the Negative Reviews
After reading the negative review the first time, be sure you read it through a few additional times to ensure you understand their complaint. This will help you formulate an appropriate response so your customer will feel like you’re really listening.
Respond in a Timely Manner
Although it’s crucial to not respond in a rash, defensive way, it’s also important to respond to negative reviews in a timely manner. Don’t let too much time sneak by before responding. Same day responses are often really appreciated, but if that’s not possible, shoot for a response within a few days.
Acknowledge and Apologize
Let the customer know you’re sorry they had a bad experience. Reiterate their complaint, which lets them know you’ve heard them and you’re not employing a scripted response. Next, apologize, even if you feel the customer is wrong.
Emphasize Your Business Strengths
You can defend your family entertainment center without sounding defensive by listing some of your business strengths in your response. Consider sharing how long you’ve been in business, how you always strive for customer satisfaction, or how you work with customers to make things right.
Offer a Different Contact Option
Sometimes, customers prefer to speak directly to you over the phone, or may have more to say over email. Offer both options, which can be far more personable than simply responding online to a negative review. Even if they don’t use these options, the fact that you’re offering them makes your business more transparent, which customers appreciate.
Thank the Customer for Their Feedback
Also, include a “thank you” when responding to negative reviews. It shows that you’re listening, you care, and you really appreciate their feedback. It also shows other customers who stumble upon the negative review that you take the time to respond to feedback and go out of your way to take care of every customer.
A few moments spent on crafting a response to negative reviews of your family entertainment center can boost your business reputation, can alleviate tension between you and that specific customer, and can help future customers take comfort in the fact that you do care about their experience at your venue.