What To Do With A Bad Online Review?

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There will come a day when your practice receives a bad review. You may not like it, but it's inevitable. When it happens, it might seem like the end of the world, but it doesn't have to be. Of course, much of that depends on how you handle yourself when it happens.

Often times, unhappy customers want to feel valued and want to be heard. Whatever caused their dissatisfaction, they likely left a negative review because they wanted to grab your attention or get a reaction. Whether or not you agree with their negative review, you must maintain your composure as there's an art to approaching this type of situation. It's crucial that you handle yourself in a way that can mitigate the situation and possibly even win the customer back. Follow the steps below to properly tackle a bad customer review!

1. Process the comment before you respond.

People respond differently when they're upset versus when they've taken time to process what's been said. If a comment attacks your practice, something that you've worked so hard for, it's understandable to get upset. Take a day or two and get rid of the emotion you're feeling before you react. Once you can calmly address the review, respond in a thoughtful way. Be proactive, not reactive.

2. Accept your wrongdoing and apologize.

While not every negative review will be accurate or truthful, there will come a time when your business makes a mistake or upsets a customer. No matter how good your customer service is, your practice isn't perfect. Be truthful and honest and take responsibility if there was wrongdoing on your part. Whatever you do, try not to make excuses. This shows a lack of maturity.

3. Explain how you will change your ways.

Once you have owned up to the problem and apologize for the mishap, explain how you will take matters seriously and will nip the issue from happening again. While no one likes negative reviews, they can be an eye opener for your business and can help you make positive changes for the overall well-being of your practice. Turn a negative into a positive.

4. Offer an incentive so they come back.  

After you addressed the client's concern in a positive way, don't stop there. Take it one step further and give them a reason to give your practice one more try. Whether it's a free visit, a consultation, or discount, prove that they're important to you. Actions speak louder than words and this approach will show you are making the effort to win back their trust.

Customer service is an art. It takes a great deal of maturity, effort and thoughtfulness to please customers and it's natural to mess up sometimes. That being said, don't get into the habit of making excuses or avoiding negative responses. Get out there and be a positive example for your brand. People will respect your business so much more that way.