Do not wait until disaster strikes to watch this video!
The most important thing is to have a plan in place before the ugly comments happen. The comments are coming and you need to have your people do the right thing or you absolutly will harm your bottom line.
The "your people do the right thing" verbiage above is there because this always seems to happen on a Sunday night at nine when a seventeen-year old is minding the store. Do not assume that you will be the person who initially deals with some ugly and very public comments.
There is a point by point suggestion list of what to say to these reviews in the video and we will not repeat ourselves here. However, the general idea is to get this person off-line now. They are on a mission to trash your business and you don’t want them to bounce from site to site telling half-truths.
Tell them that you really want to resolve this to their satisfaction as soon as possible and the fastest way to do that is by giving you a call on the phone. Do not engage in a back-and-forth on the Internet and do not give them hours and hours to come up with ever bigger accusations to share online. My experience is that these things grow and become more dramatic as the hours pass. The facts may remain but spin and editorial become caustic if not dealt with right away.
There are two different classes of people making these complaints. The first feel genuinely aggrieved and are honestly upset, thats the group above. The second class is the "where's my discount" person who sees this as an opportunity to cash in. This person often starts out by announcing what will happen if you don't do as they demand. This demand is often wrapped in dripping sarcasm.
There is a curious physiology to asking someone to do something nice for you by trashing them. These folks often want a freebie and expect their ugly behavior to be rewarded. Unfortunately, you should reward their antics.
These dark and negative souls do not look at what they are doing as blackmail but that is exactly what it is. They want a free night or dinner or they will tell anyone who reads any review of your business just what a terrible human you are. There is almost always some truth to the accusations; but anyone who follows American politics will tell you the facts are not nearly as important as the adverbs & adjectives.
You are not giving this person some freebie because you want his business in the future. But that is exactly what you will tell him you want: “I hope you will please give us another chance”. Nope, you hope you will never see his sorry ass again. But you must do this because other people will read these comments over the coming months and years and they will want to see how you respond should they have a problem. This is a legitimate concern and you want them to know they will be treated fairly.
By the way, the occasional negative review is not a bad thing. Did you know that if you have one or two (only) bad reviews, your conversion rate will actually go up? Sounds counter intuitive but it is true. Think about it for a second: if you read twenty online reviews and they all said the same thing: how great it is and there is no-place better, would you become suspicious after awhile? People trust mixed reviews, not all positive ones. Welcome the negative reviews, it's a part of reputation management!
As an aside, common sense must prevail - if he cusses out your staff tell him to get out and make sure later readers know what he did. They will take his hostile actions into account.
If you want help with this important issue, please visit our Reputation Management Software Page