Negative reviews are a part of running any business. Not every event is a home run and some couples’ perceptions are not within your control, so it is imperative that your business is prepared to handle critics of your work in the best way possible.
Many wedding and event professionals consider negative reviews to be devastating, but they don’t always have to be! There are many ways you can view a less than perfect review as a positive for your business. Take a deep breath, remember it’s not the end of the world, and read through our list below to find out why you should view a negative review as a positive for your business.
Give legitimacy to your other reviews
Everyone loves 5-star reviews – businesses love having them, and couples love seeing them. Having all perfect, 5-star reviews, however, may make your business appear to be less than honest. From a consumer’s perspective, think about how you would react if you saw only 5-star reviews on a business’ page. The simple truth is that while reviews from real customers are powerful, there’s also the tendency to distrust a business if they look too good to be true. Having one or a few reviews your business may consider “negative” makes all your fantastic reviews more legitimate, and it helps the potential customer understand both sides of the equation. The more they know what to expect from dealing with your business, the better they can make an informed decision. And remember: one review will not make or break your business.
Help identify areas of improvement
When working an event, a couple might not be comfortable sharing negative feedback with you in person out of fear of an awkward moment. The review is where you could learn things about your products or services that need improvement. Maybe your flowers started to wilt early, or one of your catering staff was a bit abrasive towards guests, and you weren’t aware. In this way, you should be thankful for negative reviews; you can’t fix something that could be costing you business unless you know about it. This sort of intel from clients helps you fix those problem areas so that the next client won’t have the same issues, and your business will be better for it and continue to flourish.
Show off your customer service
You should always thank all your reviewers for taking the time to write about their experiences with your business, whether good or bad. Any information they provide other potential clients about your business is valuable (for both consumers and you), and they are not required to write the review. If it is negative, respond gracefully and maturely. Thank your customer for their business and for the review to show others that you value customer feedback and take it to heart. It is also an opportunity to share your side of the story in a professional, courteous way. Consumers can learn a lot about your business from how you respond to negative reviews, so remember to keep that in mind as you compose your response. For other tips on writing responses to negative reviews, be sure to check out our previous post on the subject.
Help you make it right
We know that some reviewers are extremely upset or unruly, but many are merely dissatisfied and feel that they should share their full experience. Assess the situation to find out if you will be able to make it right for the reviewer. If they ended up with something lower quality than they expected, you can offer to give them part of their deposit back to make up for it if appropriate. If they had a negative reaction to one of your employees, you can try to offer a discount on future services to show that you can provide what they’re looking for (if possible). If you make the reviewer feel validated, they’ll feel less defensive and you’ll hopefully open up a dialogue that can lead to a better impression for that reviewer and other potential customers reading the review. If you have the chance to make it right, you should always try!
Overall, do your best not to stress over negative (or less-than-perfect) reviews! The more reviews you collect, the more recent, positive reviews will help you continue to develop your strong online reputation.