Getting a bad review or a one-star rating is inevitable. Some people cannot be happy and misery loves company. They thrive on negativity, and there is no pleasing them. So they write a bad review or drop a one-star rating against your organization. They’re just sourpusses. That must be the reason for the one-star rating. No way your company or employee provided them subpar service. That’s too unrealistic. You only deliver top notch customer experiences. Yet, even if you didn’t live up to the high standards you hold our teams accountable to, it’s okay. Everyone is allowed to have a bad day.
As I wrote back in 2010 in my Dealer Magazine article “Word of Mouse”, there needs to be a process when handling negative reviews. The occasional one-star rating or bad review isn’t even a bad thing if handled correctly. Show me a company with 100% positive reviews and I’ll show you a company that is both scamming the system. On top of that, consumers would never believe a company that has perfect reviews across the board. From the consumer’s standpoint, good and bad reviews are expected.
Responding to a bad review online:
If you’re alerted to a bad review that carries with it some details about the shopper’s perceived lackluster experience, you should respond with something similar to…
We’re so very sorry you feel your recent experience with us was anything less than ideal, but do seriously appreciate your feedback. I assure you this is not the level of service we strive to provide here at [DEALER NAME] and will take considerable measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again. As the General Manager, [GM NAME], I would love to speak to you directly and see if we can provide you a 5-star level of service from now forward. Please contact me directly at [DEALER PHONE NUMBER/GM PHONE NUMBER].
Responding to a one-star rating online:
Speaking of “less than ideal” instances, sometimes there is no review. Just a one-star rating. A negative rating with no additional details puts you (the company) at a disadvantage. Hard to engage or overcome a one-star rating online with no further information to explore. Nonetheless, I recommend you still take the time to address it with something as simple as…
We’re so very sorry you feel your recent experience with us was only 1-star worthy. Please alert us if this was an in-store visit or from communication with our team. As the General Manager here at [DEALER NAME], I’d love to speak to you directly so we can improve our services, and see what it takes to make your future engagements with us worthy of a 5-star review. You can reach me directly at [PHONE NUMBER].
The end goal may be assuage the unhappy customer’s concerns enough to earn their business, the short-term goal is to take them off-line rather than having a back and forth conversation on the review sites. If you are able to fix the problem through this post-review communication, ask them not to change their review, but instead request they add another comment stating that you’re working toward a resolution. To future viewers of this one-star rating or negative review, the back-and-forth communication between shopper and company is truly more valuable than any 5-star review.