For many people, receiving criticism triggers a stress response that makes their heart race, their blood pressure rise, and their perception of danger to become more astute. It’s the same sort of response your body would have to, for instance, being chased by a lion.
Wrap the health of your petrol station up into the equation and you might find yourself thinking that being chased by a lion might be less stressful. Negative reviews can definitely have a bad effect on you and your business…
But, only if you let it.
When we are talking about negative reviews we are talking about a negative review on your petrol stations Google Business Page, or a negative comment on your petrol stations Facebook page.
The truth is, if you respond in the right way, negative reviews can actually show off just how capable your business is of resolving issues with customers, something that can actually improve your business’s overall image. Here are some tips on how to take down this proverbial lion.
Assess the Situation
Let’s face it; some negative reviews are pure fiction.
Whether it’s a bot, a “troll” (someone who has no hobbies other than writing mean things on the internet), or someone who just won’t be satisfied no matter what you do, there are certain situations where no action is the best action. If you believe a review is genuine spam, most social media sites will allow you to flag it as such, and will remove it if their team determines it is spam.
If the review is not spam, and there is a genuinely upset individual on the other side of that screen, you can move onto the next step.
This might be the scary part. You need to take the time to gather your thoughts, read through their review, and send a professional, personalised response. You should make sure that your response accomplishes the following:
- Makes the customer feel heard (meaning you cannot use a “canned” response, make it specific).
- Includes an apology.
- Tactfully includes the fact that their experience is not the norm, and that you will work with them to find a resolution.
- Includes resources (somewhere to reach out) to help take the rest of the conversation offline — an email or phone number works well.
Resolve the Issue (if You Can)
This is where excellent customer service comes into play. While you may immediately feel a need to reach for your wallet to offer them compensation to make the problem “go away,” this is actually an opportunity to give them a positive resolution that will improve their perception of your company. This could result in them removing the negative review, and even coming back as a recurring customer.
Listen to their issue, and determine if there is anything your business can provide them to come to a solution. You’ll thank yourself later.