Yes, it can rather ruin your day when you check your company’s listing on Google or Yelp, only to find that… well, someone’s given your business a negative review. Worse, as 86% of customers have recently admitted to reading online views of local businesses, your firm’s future could be at stake.

However, an even higher proportion – 89% – of customers have indicated that they read companies’ replies to reviews. This means that before penning your own reply, you should step back and collect your thoughts – you need to be careful about what you say. Now, here’s what you should say…

Resist fighting fire with fire

Yes, it’s painful when it feels like someone is attacking your “baby”, but emotionally-charged, defensive language won’t diffuse the situation. Therefore, you should calmly accept the problem and apologise for it, as this will show the consumer that you see the situation from their point of view.

Besides, this is just one review from one person – it doesn’t necessarily reflect how your product or service is generally perceived. Still, you should assume that they feel genuinely aggrieved, thank them for letting you know and offer to make amends.

Attempt to win back the customer

Even if the disgruntled customer insists that they will never buy from you again, responding to them empathetically could impress onlookers and so earn custom from them. If the dissatisfied customer seems more open to being won back, you could make a special offer to them.

This offer could be a discount or money-off voucher – basically, something that shows you are well-intentioned, despite your company’s slip-up.

Your reputation might have been slightly stained, but your attempts to make up for it and, perhaps, utilising our reputation management services here at Jumping Spider Media could, in a metaphorical sense, be the detergent your firm needs to prevent itself accumulating unsightly dirt.