How To Deal With Negative Reviews

October 6, 2020 Hollie Power
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Are you a salon owner who gets really upset whenever you get a negative review from a client?

Well, I totally know how you feel.

I’ve been there too.

I wanted to share a couple of tips on how to deal with a negative review from a client, because I totally get it.

Getting a bad review is heartbreaking.

We pour our heart and soul into our businesses and when we think that somebody doesn’t like what we’ve created, or somebody is really unhappy with us, it makes us feel not good.

And I wanted to talk a little bit about it today, because across our communities of salon owners, we see so many people who are flying high, having a wonderful time in business, delivering amazing services, and then bam, they get hit by a bad review.

And it takes all of the stuffing right out of them.

And they feel devastated and upset and stressed out and worried. N

ow when I had my spa – I owned my spa for over ten years – we had thousands and thousands of clients coming through over the time that I owned it.

And of course, we saw our fair share of negative reviews.

Because no matter how brilliant you are at what you do, someone’s always going to be a little bit unhappy.

And that’s the most important first point to remember, someone will always be unhappy.

You could literally do anything; you could make your business the most slickest, amazing of businesses that ever existed.

You could have the best salon in the world.

But someone will always be unhappy, because that’s just the nature of averages.

People have different expectations, different desires, different goals and let’s not forget, there’s always somebody out there who’s a little bit awkward.

So what do you do when you get a negative review?

Well the first thing is, do not reply immediately.

Because if you’re emotionally driven like lots of us are, then you may respond in a way that could make things worse.

And remember if somebody’s put a review on a public forum – so maybe it’s on a Google review, or a Facebook review – and it is negative you might be inclined to go on and write something really aggressive and argumentative straightaway.  After all, how dare they?!  However this won’t help the situation, even if that’s how you’re feeling inside.

Of course, anybody can read that and it will give them an opinion of you.

That just shows that you’re very angry and hostile to negative criticism, which of course, you’re probably not, it’s just because you were feeling emotionally driven at that time.

So whilst you need to get back to the review as soon as possible and deal with it, just take an hour, take a breather, calm down before you respond.

The second thing you want to do is actually listen to what the client is saying, because some reviews will be written very, very unfairly… but some may have a point.

So there’s no harm in breaking down what they’ve suggested, and seeing if you can take anything from it.

Feedback is a way that we grow in business.

And whilst sometimes we don’t like hearing the negative element of it, there might be a little gem in there that can help us with our business.

There might be something that this particular client has pointed out that lots of clients are feeling and no one’s actually told us yet.

So look at it from an unbiased point of view and ask yourself if there’s anything that you can take away from that review, that would help you.

Thirdly, always respond in an extremely professional manner.

If that person has written things in a vulgar way, if they’ve written things rudely, if they’ve used bad language, you can of course, report the review.

But even if it’s just nastily written, be sure to write professionally back, because sometimes people like to read the responses to reviews on various different platforms.

And it’s very important to show yourself in a professional manner, no matter how you’re feeling inside.

Break down their points, and come back to each point one by one, calmly and professionally.

And if you feel that what they said is totally unjust, then explain why you think that.

Acknowledge what they said and listen, because usually, a negative review is because somebody wants to be heard.  So listen to what they have to say, and respond in a professional manner.

And if they have a point, thank them for taking the time to share it with you and say you’re going to think about how you could change or implement this into your business.

However an even better result is if you can get it removed by keeping that client happy.

There will be some clients that you simply won’t want back in your business but there will be some that you think, “I want you back in my salon, you’re a good client, how can I fix this?”

Don’t be scared to pick up the phone and give them a call and say, “I’ve read your review, I understand you’re unhappy. I’d really like to fix this for you so you could take the review down and we can get you feeling happy again”.

That’s my top tips if you get a negative review in your salon.

I’m Hollie Power, co-founder of Salonology and if you’ve got any questions about this, please put a comment below.



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