In this digital age, social media plays a vital marketing role in our lash salon businesses. As a Salon Owner or Lash Artist we're all too familiar with what we like to call the "review dilemma." Online reviews can truly be a two-faced friend. On the one hand, we've got positive reviews that can give our Lash Salon and reputation a turbo boost, taking us to new heights. But then there's the flip side – the negative reviews can take a wrecking ball to the reputation we've worked so hard to build. This hit can feel like a double whammy, both on your business and your personal image.
Now, don't get me wrong, dealing with bad online reviews is no walk in the park and as a Lash Professional your life's already bursting with "stuff that needs to be done" just to run and grow your Lash Salon business, but here's the thing: it's vital that you handle bad reviews as a matter of priority with a consistent approach and a cool head.
Get ready, because in this blog we're going to delve into a wealth of valuable tips for effectively managing those less-than-glowing reviews. Getting ahead of bad customer review annihilation involves both reactive and proactive measures to effectively address them when they do occur and help protect your valuable reputation from future assaults of bad online reviews. So, let's get started.
How to deal with bad reviews online
1. Create your Review Strategy
When it comes to creating your business review strategy, you'll need to determine the platforms that are most relevant to your lash salon but remember that bad reviews and comments can pop up from various sources. It's a good idea to include some popular ones in your strategy like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook, as well as social media platforms you post on where customers are free to comment and review your services publicly on your posts such as Instagram, Tik Tok, and YouTube. Go ahead and work with your team to define what excellent customer service means to your business and determine how you'll monitor and manage both positive and negative online reviews consistently.
As part of building your strategy, determine your definition of what constitutes quality service or products for your business and ensure your service or products consistently meet or exceed your customers' expectations.
Include a strategy to help you keep ahead of customer feedback by proactively asking your customers how they feel about your products or services through surveys and reviews in both a formal and informal way.
Make sure that your staff understand what constitutes great customer service in your lash salon and they’re trained to handle responses to both positive and negative reviews and comments.
2. Empower your Lash Business with Effective Customer Feedback Channels
One effective method to help you take charge of your online reviews and negative feedback is by integrating your own review platform directly onto your website. This provides a centralized location where you can encourage your customers to share their thoughts and have their say. Such a platform helps streamline the management of reviews and comments, both positive and negative. While online reviews and comments will come from other sources, having your own resources simplifies the process by consolidating them in one easy manageable location, and allows you to display reviews where you want them to be seen.
If you're searching for a suitable review software, consider exploring options like Reviews.io, Yotpo, Trust Pilot, and AskNicely among others for software you can intergrate into your website.
If you don’t want to impliement sofware to collect reviews yourself, you can still use programs that help you display other reviews, such as your Google reviews on your website, an application such as goodreviews can help here.
Additionally, don't underestimate the power of customer surveys. They will serve as a valuable tool for gathering feedback, assessing overall customer satisfaction, and gaining insights into customer experience. Utilizing surveys can help you stay ahead of potential bad reviews or, at the very least, enable you to proactively plan your response and course of action.
3. Efficiently Monitor Customer Interactions
If you find yourself lacking the time to diligently monitor social media for mentions, comments, or direct messages related to your business, assigning this task to one of your staff members or outsourcing to a dedicated organization is a viable option. Either way, ensure that your social channels and emails are regularly reviewed to proactively spot potential issues before they have a chance to escalate. Use negative feedback to identify possible or recurring problems and take the necessary actions to get ahead of potential challenges.
4. Promote Private Conflict Resolution
Although it might be tempting to vilify yourself or your business by engaging directly with a review or comment at its source, we'd highly recommend taking a more empathetic approach. Start by publicly responding to the review and acknowledging that you've received and heard the customer's concerns. Offer them an alternative communication channel, such as contacting your customer support team, emailing, or communicating in a Private Message to address the issue discreetly and professionally. This approach helps protect your reputation while resolving matters effectively.
Once the matter has been resolved to the client's satisfaction, consider sharing a thoughtfully crafted public response on social media that addresses the initial complaint or comment in a positive light. If you've successfully resolved the situation amicably, the most favorable outcome you could expect is that the customer will be pleased to post a comment expressing their satisfaction with your customer service and your proactive response to resolving their concerns. Such a response is the epitome of positivity in a situation that may have been a low blow to your Lash Salon and business reputation.
5. Pro Tips for Effective Conflict Resolution
We've covered some important aspects of responding to and resolving individual customer complaints or negative comments. So, now I’d like to share these useful tips on how to handle situations and customer feedback from a practical perspective. You could include these points in your conflict resolution procedure to assist your staff in dealing with bad review comments.
- When you encounter a dissatisfied customer, keep your cool and practice empathy. Try to put yourself in their shoes even if you don’t initially see eye to eye with their point of view. People who leave negative reviews or comments are often dealing with strong emotions, whether their reasons are reasonable or not. So, it’s crucial to maintain your composure and demonstrate empathy towards the situation.
- Whether you're on the phone or chatting online, allow them to talk it out. Don't interrupt because you need to understand where they're coming from. Ask questions politely to get a clear picture so that you're on the same page. Stay professional and consistent even if the customer isn't. Avoid getting defensive or confrontational. Address the problem as quickly as you can. If it’s going to take some time to resolve them keep them in with loop about the next steps and resolution progress.
- Apologies can work wonders so if needed, offer a genuine apology for whatever has happened. This is a great way to ease tension and show you care. Taking responsibility is important, even if it's not entirely your fault or if it's something outside your control, it's wise not to point fingers at the customer but to acknowledge the issue and work to find a solution.
- Offering a practical solution is a must as you're looking to offer a solution that makes the customer happy but doesn’t send your business broke. Some possible outcomes to consider may be offering compensation, like discounts, refunds, or free products or services if appropriate.
- Consider keeping a record of the customer's complaint, the steps you took and promises you made because this can be handy for future reference if the problem gets out of hand. If resolved, this can be a useful resource for training your staff.
- Once the issue is resolved ask for customer feedback on how you handled the situation. This is where you may be able to encourage them to write a positive review response to their complaint. Send your customers a link and instructions to your preferred review platform to make it easy for them to post a response.
- Monitor your review platforms using analytic tools, track mentions, and set up alerts for new online activity, regularly assess your performance metrics like average rating, review volume, and customer sentiment.
- Be transparent and post updates on your website and socials about any challenges or delays in your business operation, staffing, or shipping.
- Ensure your website's "Terms and Conditions", "Products & Services" and FAQs a up to date and relevant. These policies and statements are critical elements in managing customers' expectations and what they can expect from you. This strategy is key to helping avoid misunderstanding in the first place and you may need to refer your customer to these policies as part of the resolution.
- Make changes to the "Review Strategy" based on feedback and data you collect so that you continually improve the customer experience and your review satisfaction rating.
- Lastly, the decision of when to seek legal counsel is rarely your initial course of action. Nevertheless, in instances where you encounter remarks that are deceptive, libelous, or defamatory and can be unequivocally proven, or if you notice a pattern of consistent publication and sharing of such detrimental reviews or comments which are negatively affecting your business's reputation, we recommend that you consult with your legal counsel before taking any action. An ill-considered response could potentially undermine your case if you decide to pursue legal action.
While getting ahead of bad reviews does not resolve them permanently, following these guidelines can help safeguard your valuable reputation from an onslaught of negative reviews and enable you to continuously improve your Lash Salon processes in providing excellent customer service.