4 tips to deal with negative online feedback

Working in a salon you’re sure to come across many different types of people.  From the chatty trailblazers to the quiet book readers, interacting with customers in person and providing great service is most likely second nature; responding to negative customers online needs even more care and thought.

In person some customers may be reserved or put their complaints across politely; all etiquette can be lost when that same person is put behind a computer and they are happily typing away, complaining that their hair colour is fading and their nails have chipped away.

So here are some tips on how to deal with those customers in the proper manner online.

Cooler heads prevail

When someone is criticising your business and service, it may be tempting to rush in and put the record straight. The best plan of action is to not write a quick and rash response which you may later regret. Before you do so, pause for reflection, take a deep breath and plan an appropriate response.

Sorry is the hardest word

Start your response by saying sorry or apologise for any negative experiences they may have had.  Your business may not be at fault, but the customer believes they have had a negative experience and have wanted to raise it with you. Showing acknowledgment and understanding will benefit your business in the long term.

Action the complaint

The next step is facing a complaint head on. Always avoid getting into an online slanging match for the whole world to see, so instead outline what you’ve done to resolve the situation and explain how you will future proof your business so these incidents will not occur again.  Alternatively if you feel the complaint is unwarranted, acknowledge the customer’s response and say you will be in touch to find out more about the complaint.

Keep the door open

Always end the response on good terms.  Invite the customer back so they can be delighted with their experience second time around and if appropriate, contact them privately offering them a discount or offer on their next visit.

The most important outcome from dealing with online complaints is to learn and move on.  Remember a carefully constructed response could potentially improve your standing with your customers and online community and will encourage them to give positive feedback.

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