“The whole atmosphere was negative, I couldnt wait to get away from there. Stay away” -One Star
“The salesperson didnt even know where the car was I wanted to see, and the manager wouldnt get out of his chair to help, he just said to look at another car, so I left.” – One Star
“We bought a car and it had a flat tire the very next day and when we called the dealership no one would even talk to us, zero customer service.” – One Star
If you own or manage a business, you may have nightmares about online reviews like these. You may wish the whole review and rating “thing” would just go away. Trust me, it is not a “thing” that will be going away, but really that can be a good thing.
First of all, understand that reviews and ratings do matter. People look at them and they do influence buying decisions. Come on, admit it, you use them too. You jump on Amazon and I know you look at the product ratings before you buy, so why would your company’s customers be any different?
Secondly, and most importantly the review and rating system gives businesses a chance to hear from customers that in the past would just not come back, but now they let the business know why they do not plan on returning. These insights can be customer retention gold if handled correctly.
So, how is it possible to Turn 1 Star Reviews into 5 Star Customers?
The first step is to get the customer to engage with you either on the phone or in person. I usually immediately post a reply that simply says “I am sorry to hear we did not meet your expectations and would like to find out more, please call me at (I usually put my office phone since it is forwarded to my mobile phone, but you have to talk to them when they call so DO NOT put an office phone that you never answer as your contact number. If you are serious about turning around your reviews and ratings why not use your own personal mobile number? If you dont believe I put my cell number in responses just check out my responses online, I do it, and it works.)
I feel like around 30-40% of reviewers contact me just off of that first message, it may take 24 to 48 hours before they get back to me but they do respond but I try not to wait for them. Once I post my reply I try to immediately find a way to call the customer which sometimes is easy sometimes it is impossible, if the Google user name is ‘bigpoppa23’ and give no other details in the reivew, kinda hard to track down a number to call them so I have to wait on their call.
In short once I receive a negative review or rating, I try to get in touch with that customer like they owe me money, you cannot be passive and you have to get involved immediately if you are going to turn that negative review into a 5 Star Customer.
I felt like this would be a quick and easy post, but now that we are into it, I think this needs to be more in depth so I want to end here and pick up next time with more information on how the communication needs to proceed once you reach that negative reviewer. So I will pick this up again with more ideas on how to handle reviews like a true professional.