Don’t confront disgruntled customers on Google Places
Negative reviews on Google Places can be a real pain for businesses. Sadly with this review process and other reviews, the squeaky wheels tend to get most grease. That is, dissatisfied customers get more attention simply because satisfied customers don’t tend to leave reviews as frequently as dissatisfied customers.
Obviously, the first point is to try ensure you don’t have unhappy customers but no business is perfect in this regard, so dealing with unhappy customers is inevitable. Having a clear customer service policy and natural course of communication will help ensure customers issues are at least addressed, rather than them leaving annoyed, getting home and then leaving a nasty 1-star review on your Google Places account.
Bad reviews are quickly noticed – unless they are swamped in a myriad of positive reviews. You may serve 2000+ customers per month, 10 may leave a positive review, one may leave a negative review. To new customers this may appear to be a 10% dissatisfaction rate, which is quite high, whereas you know from your entire client base, that dissatisfaction rate is actually .05%, which is a very acceptable number for most businesses.
Don’t over react to negative Places reviews
Don’t blow a gasket upon seeing a negative review – you may decide in the heat of the moment to fire abuse back, which doesn’t auger well for your online reputation. Read it, consider it, walk away and consider it some more, leave it a day and then respond:
1. If it’s an issue you are familiar with personally (rather than another member of staff), talk through the problem and what you did to try to resolve it or if you haven’t tried to resolve it, perhaps propose a phone call or meeting to address the issue.
2. If it was a member of staff that dealt with the issue, check that they handled it appropriately and if so, state that in your response. If they did not handle it appropriately, try to make amends with the customer.
3. If you know the review is fake (sometimes competitors have nothing better to do!), then call them on it. ” It appears, you are not a known customer, please call us to discuss this issue or provide us with details of a time and date of your transaction so that we can follow it up”. This usually ends the conversation if it’s not a genuine complaint.
It’s also worth noting, never apologise unless you were genuinely in the wrong – like misleading a customer on expectations. Apologising and pandering to the customer is likely to frustrate them more and cause further angst. If you feel you are correct (without being arrogant), stand your ground.