Don’t Ignore Customer Feedback, Respond To It
Customer reviews are vital to any small business. They help you make a name for yourself, stand out from other small businesses, and create a stellar reputation in your community. But don’t just leave customer feedback alone. Whether positive or negative, you should always respond.
Think about it — negative feedback is still feedback. Would you rather have an angry and frustrated customer not mention their anger and frustrations to you? Would you rather them instead discuss their anger and frustrations with their friends and family members? Of course not! It’s always great to get the opportunity to talk with customers who leave negative reviews or bring complications up while shopping at your store. It means you have a second chance to resolve their issues and potentially keep them as loyal customers. And you may even learn from the experience and change the way you operate for the better.
Keep these things in mind when responding to customer feedback (positive and negative).
Positive Customer Feedback
1. First and foremost, say thank you and return the positivity. Make sure they know how much their review made your day! Reinforce specific things the customer liked best about their experience with your small business.
2. Extend an invitation for them to return to your store. Express how much you’d love to welcome them back in the future. It turns them into repeat customers and it shows those reading your reviews that your small business is one that customers return back to.
3. Mention other products or services you think they would love. Go off of whatever they mention in their review and recommend something else you think they would enjoy purchasing from your business. Show off one of your newer items or services, or something that is gaining in popularity.
Example: “Thank you, [NAME OF CUSTOMER], for your kind words! We’re so happy you enjoyed your time at our small business. We hope you’ll come back and visit us this weekend. If you liked our [NAME OF PRODUCT], we think you’d really like our [NAME OF OTHER PRODUCT]. Don’t be a stranger!”
Negative Customer Feedback
1. Apologize and sympathize with their frustrations. No matter if they’re wrong or right, you should always apologize for the bad experience with your small business. Don’t be one of those businesses that are too proud to say they’re sorry. Stay humble and try to sympathize. It will make the customer feel heard and respected.
2. Take responsibility. This is not the time for excuses — it’s the time to take responsibility and relay the fact that this issue will not happen again. Without doing so, the customer may get even more upset. It’s better to just bite the bullet, even though you may not agree with them 100 percent.
3. Make things right and always take the issue offline. Is there something that you can do to fix their problem? Can you comp their order or offer them a discount? Will you be changing a certain way your business will operate? Tell the customer, but make sure to connect with them offline about the specifics. Provide direct contact information for the customer in your review response.
Example: “Hi [NAME OF REVIEWER], thank you so much for offering your feedback. We are sorry your experience with our small business didn’t match your expectations. We always aim to deliver a warm and welcoming environment and we regret that we missed the mark. You have my personal commitment to improve the way our staff serves every customer who visits our storefront. Please contact me at [PHONE NUMBER] or [EMAIL ADDRESS] so we can discuss how we can make this right!”
One last note: We recommend creating a system for recording any and all feedback. When someone gives your small business feedback, you should have the right channels to capture it and share it with your team. Make this system accessible to everyone at your business — hourly and salaried workers alike — and allow them to also record and circulate their own customer feedback.
Share every review with your entire team and then handpick the best to share with the world! Post the very best positive reviews on your social media channels to share the love. Go out there, get some feedback, respond to it, and create new life-long customers!
Have a question about this topic or anything else? Just ask!