Surviving Three Star Reviews

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Copywriting | 1 comment

Surviving Three Star Reviews

Many rating systems operate on the five-star system where five stars is stellar service and one means something has gone terribly wrong. You work extremely hard, you take good photographs, you like to think your products are designed and executed well, and you have a keen understanding of customer service. So what happens when you get hit with a four star or, even worse, a three-star review?

The world stops for a moment, doesn’t it?

It feels as though all the air has been sucked from your lungs and your stomach contents have been replaced with butterflies that are fueling a miniature tornado of vengeance.

I get it.

I hate it just as much as you do.

The thing is, as entrepreneurs we will be faced with times when we either don’t perform to the customers’ expectations or wires of communication get crossed. Sometimes customers just aren’t happy and while it is easy to blame the customer (“They are the type that are NEVER happy”) I think that is a very dangerous train of thought. It removes responsibility and critical self-analysis from your business practices. It can remove you from your own mistakes.

We all make mistakes.

I’ve made mistakes. They haunt me. I remember most of them and when I get hit with a less than perfect rating they all tend to wash over me like a cold waterfall.

However, the point of this article is not to lament how being a business owner is unfair because in reality it is perfectly fair. Reviews are the opinions of your customers. Let me repeat that again: Opinions. It’s really such an important word in this discussion.

Take a moment to look at the review critically. Is there something that the customer is saying that you actually could improve upon? Is your description clear? Are your photographs accurate? Did you over-promise something or under explain in your policies? Do not automatically assume the customer is trying to be mean just for the sake of it. There is something within your communication that led the interaction to go astray and by ignoring any possibility of your fault is just a recipe to make the same mistake again.

If there are valid concerns, reach out to the customer privately. Don’t do this because you want them to change the review but rather do it because you want to improve your customer service. If they do change it, well that’s great! If there is no fault of yours or the customer is not willing to engage in further communication you should always respond publicly. You are responding to that customer as much as you are responding to potential future customers. In your response do the following:

1. Acknowledge the customers concern professionally.

2. Identify your business policies, if applicable.

3. Identify what solutions you offered to the customer.

4. Close with a statement that reinforces your dedication to customer service and what you are going to do to improve.

You will survive your next four star, three star, two star, and (yes even) one star reviews. How you respond to them identifies what type of business you will be moving forward.

One Comment

  1. 10-19-2016

    Awesome!

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