It’s every business owner's worst nightmare - the day that a lonely 1-star review shows up on your business page. There's no avoiding it. Recent surveys suggest that 48% of consumers have left a negative review online. And while that review may a simple misunderstanding, it can drastically damage your business. It may even cause other customers to start leaving negative reviews. Negative reviews are obviously not great, however, they aren't the end of the world either. In fact, today we'll discuss 3 ways to turn negative reviews into positive action for your laundromat.
1. Learn from Your "Mistakes"
If this is your first time receiving a negative review, don't beat yourself up. Respond to the review publically, and move on. However, if you're receiving multiple negative reviews, it's time to take the reviews into consideration as ignoring them can cause further damage to your business.
Specifically, look for any patterns in the feedback. For example, as you're reading through your reviews, you notice a theme. Customers are regularly mentioning the word "disappointed" in their reviews. When we hear the word "disappointed," it implies that the service customers expected to receive did not match the level of service they actually received. While you may think you've done a good job of communicating exactly what your business offers (wash and fold service, extra-large machines, etc.), somewhere the lines got crossed.
Rather than focus all your marketing dollars on finding "the right customers," you may want to first consider how you can use these negative reviews to make improvements. For example, if your customers are "disappointed," in the service they received, offer customer service training to your employees. Alternatively, if you're finding that one staff member is the source of all your negative reviews, it may be time to consider disciplinary action (even termination). Whatever you do, try not to take it personally. Whether positive or negative, feedback should be considered a gift.
While it's important to take note of any patterns you may find in your negative reviews, it's equally important to respond to those reviews in a timely and professional manner. Whenever a customer posts a complaint (via social media, google, yelp, or otherwise), not only do they expect that you'll see it, but they also expect a response - fast!
That said, we have a few suggestions for responding in a timely manner:
Use Pre-Formulated Responses
Before responding to a customer, take a few moments to cool off and collect your thoughts. Then use a pre-formulated or pre-written response as a starting place before adding a personal touch to your reply. As you write, consider what the customer is REALLY upset about as well as what you can offer to resolve the situation.
Respond Without Excuses
When responding to a negative review, it's important not to offer excuses for whatever behavior or conditions led to the complaint. Whether your staff dropped the ball, or a water leak caused a problem with your equipment or any other host of excuses you could offer, none of it matters. Apologize. Accept blame. Then fix the problem, whatever it may be.
Formally Respond to Every Negative Review
Delivery exceptional service by not only responding to any negative reviews publically but by contacting your customers directly. We recommend using the same format to respond that your customer used to complain. For example, if the complaint was issued on Yelp, respond on Yelp directly to that customer. Most customers don't leave negative reviews just for the sake of being rude but want to feel heard. A respectful, professional, and apologetic response goes a long way toward making that customer feel as they are important. Do this for every single negative review without fail.
3. Be Appreciative
Recognize that some people are impossible to please, so it's always possible to have a few negative reviews here and there. However, foster an appreciative attitude towards anyone who provides feedback to your business as those willing enough to give feedback (positive or negative) generally want to see your commercial laundromat thrive.
Even these negative reviews are an opportunity for improvement. As business owners, we can't always see our blind spots. Reconsider negative reviews as blind spots that will allow you to make changes and improve your business.
Buy Commercial Laundromat Equipment in North Carolina With T & L
Consumer opinions are formed about your business long before a potential customer steps foot inside your commercial laundromat. If those potential customers can see that you are working to correct issues they've read about online, then they'll have more confidence in being one of your customers moving forward. Furthermore, when you need to buy laundry equipment in North Carolina, call T & L Laundry Equipment. We offer in-house financing and have been proudly servicing the laundromat and commercial laundry facilities in North and South Carolina for more than 40 years.