A good reputation is vital to the success of any small business and even more integral to the success of a salon. Today, with so many customers researching businesses online before they decide where to go, a bad online review on sites like Yelp, Feefo, Google Places, and even your own social media pages can do some serious damage to your reputation. In some cases, these bad online reviews can end up on the first page of results when people search for your salon.
It is important to monitor your social media pages and respond to any concerns, questions or queries raised there. You should also check out major consumer review sites like Yelp to see what people are saying about your salon. The easiest way to keep track of online reviews is to set up a Google Alert for your business name. You could also look at using a free tracking tool called Social Mention to keep up with online reviews.
So what do you do when you receive a bad review:
1. Take a step back and breathe
No one likes to hear or read negative comments about themselves or their business. When we here negative or derogatory comments we often jump to action and react with anger. It is always best to take a step back and take some time before you react to any negativity.
2. Assess the complaint
Take some time to step back and review the comment. Is it from a genuine source and if so, what is the complaint and why do they feel the need to share it online? If the client is using abusive or threating language it may be best to ignore it or in certain cases it may require you to report it to the police. Where possible, it would be a good idea to remove the comment, but if that is not feasible, you need to look at how you are going to respond to the comment.
3. Respond with Tact
When addressing a negative review, always keep things professional. Responding with aggression or sarcasm is only going to fuel the fire. You can choose to respond privately, but the best option would be to reply to the complaint and address the concerns raised with your customer. But responding calming and professionally in public you are showing potential clients that you care about your reputation and your clients.
Unfortunately, there are many times in our adult life when we just need to bite our tongue and apologise. Even if we don’t feel like we are the guilty party. In my experience, it is always easier to admit that a mistake was made, and ask what you can do to resolve the situation, than it is to argue or deny the problem.
Ensure that you are consistent with all complaints and respond to all positive and negative comments in a calm and professional manner. With a consistent response policy, you can turn a bad online review into a positive outlook for your salon.