Naperville Business Law Attorney on Maintaining Perspective When Facing a Negative Review
Regardless of the sector in which you operate a business, your company would not exist if you did not have clients or customers. Without someone to buy your services or products, there would be no reason for you to continue offering them.
For most business owners, including the clients of my business law practice, serving customers is among the most important priorities. In addition to offering quality products and services, such owners also strive to provide a first-class experience for their customers. Unfortunately, there are always going to be people that you simply cannot please, no matter how much you do for them. If a dissatisfied or disgruntled customer takes to the internet to call out your company, you need to know how to handle the situation. With the right touch, you can even use a negative review as an opportunity to help your company grow.
Do You Always Need to Respond?
In a word, the answer to that question is “no.” You do not need to, nor should you, you respond to every negative review left about your company on Yelp, Google, or any other online platform. Sometimes, however, a response is appropriate.
Before responding, it is extremely important to analyze the situation carefully. A qualified business law attorney can help you understand the best way to move forward so that your business remains protected. When a former customer or client posts a negative comment, you should:
Consider the Source
Did someone who actually interacted with your company leave the review? Anyone can leave a negative review, regardless of whether or not they ever patronized your business. Unfortunately, the reviewer could be what is commonly known on the internet as a “troll” who is just looking for attention. If the review was specific regarding a particular interaction, however, you might need to take notice.
Identify the Reviewer’s Problem
Sometimes, an online review will point out an actual shortcoming of your business or a real mistake that was made. However, the dissatisfied customer’s emotions can often lead to aggression and anger in the review—especially if it was left soon after the experience. You may need to look beyond the angry words to determine why the customer was upset.
Identify the Actual Problem
If the review provides enough information, you should be able to figure out what the real problem is. There very well could be issues with your staff, your products, your building, or another factor that affected your customer’s experience.
Do Your Own Research
Conduct an in-house review of the situation to determine what happened, if at all possible. Review your records to identify the customer, speak with staff members, and even look at security video, as needed, so that you can fully understand the event that might have caused the dissatisfaction.
Offer Possible Solutions
Before jumping online to respond to the reviewer, you should have a tentative plan of how you intend to resolve the problem. If your company was in the wrong, do not be afraid to apologize and own up to your mistakes. If the customer was wrong, you might still consider apologizing for their bad experience without being confrontational. You might find that the customer has since calmed down and is now willing to give your company another chance. A reasonable interaction with a dissatisfied customer can also show those who read the reviews that you are a conscientious business owner who prioritizes customer service.
Call a DuPage County Business Law Attorney
If your company has received a negative online review, you should not, under any circumstances, respond with anger or hostility. Instead, you should contact an experienced Naperville business lawyer for guidance before you take any action. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of the team at the Gierach Law Firm and get the help you need in responding to dissatisfied customers.