Localis a simple concept.
When it’s done properly, it can pay dividends: if it’s not, then it has the potential to harm your business. But what do we mean by doing things properly? Well, the easiest way of demonstrating this is through feedback. Any business worth its salt would want to be viewed as trustworthy and reliable. These qualities underpin all financial transactions. If you deliver a satisfactory service, then you’ll receive praise and positive feedback which will indicate to other potential purchasers that you’re a trusted company. If you don’t deliver that service, then you’ll be criticised, and in a digital age such criticism can spread quickly onplatforms like and .
But what should you do if your business is the subject of this online negativity?
Do you bury your head in the sand and hope the storm will blow over of its own accord, or do you grasp the nettle and address the issues that have caused the problems? Sadly many local businesses choose the former option, and it can have serious consequences. Negative feedback won’t go away. It’s out there in the ether, and out there it will stay unless you do something about it.
What should you do to address the negative comments?
Well, there’s no simple answer to that, except to say you definitely shouldn’t get defensive and start fighting your corner. In spite of your gut feeling that you may have done nothing wrong, it has to be remembered that the customer is always right, even when technically they’re not. Your business has to settle the matter to the customer’s satisfaction, and more importantly it has to be seen to be settling it to retain the confidence of other potential customers. If businesses react to negative remarks in a positive and pro-active way, then it will only improve their reputation and engender a greater sense of trust and respect with the customer. The local market relies heavily on the perceived reputation of the business. If customers don’t trust what you tell them, then this can cause untold damage.
What should you do if customers complain or leave negative feedback?
- Stay calm. There’s nothing that can’t be fixed. Online communities are quick to criticise, but they are also quick to forgive so long as you fix the problem.
- React as quickly as you can. A quick reaction will show that you’re concerned, and more importantly stop the negative feedback amplifying.
- Don’t make excuses. Don’t go all defensive. Acknowledge any mistakes and apologise accordingly
- Be sincere. Keep your apology personal and let the complainant know who they’re talking to.
- Solve the problem. This gives you the opportunity to show just how good your customer service is, and that you respond positively to online criticism.