1. Relax and take a deep breath
Your immediate response to an upset customer, or even somebody who hasn't ever been a customer would be to introduce even more negativity in to the situation and create a worse customer experience. This will be broadcast across the world through review sites, social media and obviously on Google searches about your organisation. So it is important that you take a minute to sit back and take a breath before responding, time is important in these matters, however going in all guns blazing will definitely make the situation worse, and most of the time, you can't go back! So look for something that de-stresses you, from a stress bull to breathing exercises, just do something!
2.Respond quickly, but think before you do
Although dealing with a negative review needs to be done quickly, you do need to ensure that you think about what you are writing before submitting your response. You shouldn't let the negative comments fester for a few days and then respond...never ignore it as it will harm you more. Once you have dealt with the pain and relaxed/de-stressed, acknowledge your customers complaint and let them know that you are there to help and resolve things as best you can. This not only looks professional, but will ensure that any prospects looking at the bad review will see that although there was a hiccup, your customer service is excellent, so they can be sure you will deal quickly with any issues.
3. Never Make Excuses
It doesn't matter whether the negative review was actually your fault, or whether there is a legitimate concern on your side, you should never attempt to explain it away. This will only lead to more hurt on the customer's side and will give further negative impressions to other potential customers or existing customers. Just accept it and deal with it in a professional manner.
4. Make It Better
Always be sincere and offer some ways to resolve the situation to your customers satisfaction. They are not going to accept everything you offer, but you can at least try. When you actively seek to improve the negative situation and fix the problem, you are taking the responsibility for the situation. Surprisingly to some, being the responsible one that takes control of the situation, can literally turn a negative review in to a positive one instantly. The previously disgruntled customer is more likely to tell friends how you helped them resolve the situation and made the situation much better. This will leave a mark of good customer service.
5. Ask your existing customers for Positive Reviews
In case you receive a negative review from somebody who is not a customer (a troll) or somebody that you just cannot please no matter what you do. If you are doing your best, it would have been noticed by your customers that you have tried. In this case, to outweigh the negative review, you can ask your existing happy customers for positive reviews. This will easily outweigh the negative one and will help for potential customers looking around for a supplier. It will help you move up the rankings on Google and Social Media too!
So just remember, if you have a customer who is having a bad day, act professional and do your best to turn their day around, it may just surprise you how much benefit to your business it could be!