I Got a Bad Review!!
It's super-disappointing to see a bad review! You know you've done your best with every client during their service, made doubly-sure that they were happy before they left, and you look on Google a day or a week later and discover a bad review!
It happens to nearly everyone - bad reviews are a part of the territory sometimes, and as horrific as it can be to see one and read about the allegedly unhappy customer's journey with your spa, there really are things to be done that could either change them to a positive, or get them removed altogether! These will be discussed in part 2 of this 3-part blog series!
The most important aspect of reviews is to respond to each and every one of them, whether they are good or bad. Responding to the bad ones is more difficult, more time-consuming, and more emotionally draining.
Before you respond to a negative review, be sure you can consider logically what happened and whether you did something that could've caused it. Consider talking with friends or relatives about it. And be sure to sleep on it before responding.
You could reach out to the reviewer (if you feel comfortable doing so and feel you can make it better over the phone) and discuss the experience - see if there's something you can do to make it better. Take responsibility and be empathetic. Ask what you can do to make it better for them. Maybe you can get the review turned around into a positive for both of you!
The most important aspect of responding to a bad review online is this: do not put it on the reviewer. Try to find a way to take responsibility for it (if it's a real review). Say you feel badly that the bad experience happened and that you're looking into making sure it doesn't happen again. Offer to have the reviewer call you so you can make it up to them. Find a way to make yourself look great to your public - that's the goal here.
If you find that it's not a real review of your business, you can say that. Here's an example: "We're so sorry you had an issue Ms. Reviewer, but looking at our schedule we don't see that we had any such appointment recently. Perhaps you may have wished to leave this for another salon?" And that's it - just say that and that says it all.
No matter what, try not to let a bad review ruin your day or lose any sleep over it. One bad review probably will not be a huge detriment to your business, especially if you have a bunch of good ones!
To Sum it Up
Bad reviews really aren't the end of the world, and when a client does a bad review well, it's a learning experience for you and a potential opportunity to get that business back! So think of bad reviews as a potential good experience. Consider it a challenge to overcome and not a brick wall that you can't climb. And remember that for every 1 bad review that sticks, you need at least 10 good ones (that stick) to make up for it.
One last thing - don't be tempted to leave your own review for your business (or your friends or relatives unless they REALLY patronized your business) - this is against Google's TOS and it could be removed, and could even result in suspension of your Google Business Listing (GMB).