Bad reviews hit businesses hard. Having a bad review, or a one-star rating, show up whenever new or even repeat customers search for your business might as well be a big sign that says: “DON’T COME HERE.”
Often times that’s EXACTLY what it says.
While there’s no way to easily delete a negative review that’s impacting your business, there are ways of getting around them. You want to avoid these kinds of reviews, and generate new positive reviews instead. There is great technology out there to encourage exactly this.
Step 1: Finding the Bad Reviews
Before you can act on negative feedback, you have to find it first. Knowing where people are posting about their experiences in general is the best place to start. Whether you own a restaurant, an urgent care, a dentist office, or car dealership; if one of your visitors has a bad experience- i.e., one so bad that they feel compelled to leave a negative review. Chances are that review can be found on Google. Other popular review sites include: Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Citysearch. Look up your business on each one of these sites, if you haven’t already, and see what people are saying.
Step 2: Addressing the Bad Reviews
A good practice for any business owner is to dedicate a member of your staff to finding any negative reviews that might be out there. Most review sites have the option of commenting on someone’s post. If you’re able, address it ASAP! Remember- it’s important to be as polite, understanding, and considerate as possible with your feedback. The original poster might never see it, but you can bet others will. And your response is more for everyone else, than it is for the person making the complaint in the first place.
Responding to Comments Makes a Difference
Seeing your responsiveness goes a long way towards those viewers giving your business a chance in spite of a bad review. In some cases, your responsiveness is more important to people than whatever misstep you, or your staff, might have made in the first place. Responding to feedback is a quick and easy way to fix things.
On rare occasions. you may be able to get a once-frustrated-customer to change or remove a negative review entirely.
In addition to being aware of these reviews, you need to address the concerns in a way that prevents people from having negative experiences in the first place. The most common negative reviews we’ve observed, in no particular order, are; visitors complaining about loud TVs, the [political] news, long wait times, rude staff, and shabby waiting areas. Fortunately, most of these problems can be resolved fairly easily.
If visitors complain about what’s playing on the TV, consider a business-friendly cable replacement, or a custom TV network. When a visitor says that a member of your staff was rude, address the complaint and work with your staff. If you receive complaints about the cleanliness of your space, or other environmental issues, check out this article about the Top 10 Secrets for Creating the Best Waiting Room.
Step 3: Give Visitors a way to Leave You Feedback Directly
Giving your visitors a way to leave feedback is one of the best ways to prevent negative reviews from showing up on sites like Yelp and Google. Plenty of complaints are simple enough that they can be resolved on-the-spot if your visitors can be empowered to say something while they’re there.
How you go about this is up to you. Whether it’s a box, a billboard, or an email they can address specifically, you can’t go wrong. Some businesses even provide a telephone number customers can send a text message to in order to voice their opinions. However, more important than the “how,” is getting your visitors to know that they can come to you directly if they have a complaint, or grievance. Your TV can help.
One of the best ways to encourage on-site feedback is through messages on your TV. Consider investing in waiting room technology that allows you to customize what’s on your business’ television. We recommend visiting ItsRelevantTV.com as a great place to start. By being proactive with your environment and publicly asking for customer opinions directly, you will be able to address the bad reviews before they ever hit the sites, and encourage the posting of positive ones.