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Yeah I said it. And you should! Negative reviews are those little pieces of gold that lets you know when you are doing something wrong. If you're like most businesses you loath bad reviews, but without them, how do you ever plan on growing past the mistakes you've made?
Good reviews are great! I'm not saying that you should strive for negative reviews, I'm just asking you to see them differently than you see them now. In a moment I'm going to give you some stats that will blow your mind, keep reading.
Think about it, would you rather have a customer that had a bad experience, who never told you why, and stopped frequenting your business, or one that had a bad experience and told you why? I know your first inclination would be to say "I wish they just told me and not the whole world on my Google Places page David!"
Trust me I get it, but a bad review can be a good thing for a number of different reasons but most importantly it shows you're human. Being human means that you make mistakes and by making mistakes you have the ability to showoff your customer service skills. Studies have shown that people mistrust a business when a 100% of their reviews are positive, they instantly think there is some "gaming of the system" happening.
In a moment I'm going to share with you a process for turning your negative reviews into something positive, I call it the Closed Feedback Loop. The Closed Feedback Loop is a way for turning a negative review into something positive, and by fixing the problems in a public manner, you will go a long way to convincing your ticked off customer that it was a one time thing and that you will do everything in your power to fix it. A negative review that is followed up with publicly and to the satisfaction of the unsatisfied party is even more powerful than a positive review. Don't take my word for it, here are a few stats for you to take a look at.
If you are curious as to where I got these percentages check out this report conducted by RightNow.
Open your eyes, the bottom line is that customer service is important, very important, but as consumers we understand that businesses make mistakes, we just want them to correct it.
What Should You DO When You See A Bad Review?
Run for the hills! Of course I'm kidding, but that's the way most businesses are handling it, are you? Before I get into the 6 steps that make up the Closed Feedback Loop I feel that it's important to bring up the hierarchy of social engagement:
I refer to them as a hierarchy because each one is more important than the previous with social collaboration being the granddaddy of social engagement. By using the Closed Feedback Loop you will be able to move somebody from being unhappy with your service to collaborating with on how you can make your business even better. After all, that's the whole idea isn't it?
Lets get right into it, the six steps are:
Now that you know the 6 steps, I'm going to lay out a hypothetical situation using a local print shop.
ABC Printers is a local print shop, they go out of their way to make people happy and enjoy a long list of repeat and referral customers. They use a program called UberVu to scour the web for mentions of their name and other keywords. One morning their social mentions dashboard shows that somebody left a scathing review in a blog post. They noticed that a customer was unhappy about the fact that the cut on their business cards went right through their logo.
The person in charge of reputation management left a comment on the blog post stating that they were sorry for the bad cut job but want to make it right. Then, they passed the information on to the person in charge of business cards, somebody who could make decision.
From there it was found out that the person who was supposed to call the customer and let them know of any issues with the graphic called in sick so it didn't happen and was sent directly to the printer. The customer was called, and it was explained to him what happened and that they would print more cards, that very same day, and have somebody deliver them. On the call the person in charge of business cards asked, "Customer service is very important to us and we want to make sure that this never happens again, do you have any suggestions for us to ensure that it doesn't?"
The customer, who was already happy about the issue being resolved said that it would be a good idea to have two people look at the graphic before it was sent over to be printed. So, the cards were reprinted and delivered. The person who first found the review went back to the blog and thanked the customer for their input and for giving them a great idea on how they could make their customer service even better. Next the question, "How are you enjoying your new business cards," was asked.
A question like that prompts a good review and BAM! you have just turned a positive into a negative. Now, some of you will ask, "why did you use an example of a print shop and not a car dealership?" The reason is quite simple, we work in the auto industry! As such it is hard to put yourself in the customers shoes. But, we've bought business cards and can easily put ourselves in the customers shows.
Upcoming Webinar: On July 2nd 2013 I will be hosting a webinar titled Reputation Management, Putting The Negative Fires Out. During this webinar I will go into the Closed Feedback Look even deeper and give you a step-by-step formula for creating happy customers.
ADM - Social Media Editor