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Franchise Blog

Reputation Building 101: How to address Negative Feedback

  Meli Lussier  |    Apr 25, 2017 11:50:14 AM  |    Franchise Opportunities

How to address Negative Feedback


Reputation Building 101

As a franchise owner in a service industry, one of your biggest fears is receiving that daunting and intimidating negative review.  For all your efforts in reputation building, a single bad review can bring it all down. But If you've ever received negative feedback in the form of a customer review, you already know - it hurts. But what can be done about it? Furthermore, did you do something wrong? If so, what? How much damage will the review cause? What can be done to repair your image to the public?

Receive a Bad Review? Here's what to do:

1. First, Take a Breath

The first thing to realize is they are bound to happen.  It is simply inevitable in a service-based industry, whether you are in residential cleaning, food and beverage, home care or restoration services, we all share a common denominator --- the dreaded power of the one-star review from an unhappy customer.  Take breath!

Good? Okay, now address the problem with clear eyes and an open mind. The key fact to remember is that regardless of the nature of the review or who submitted it, there are positive ways to diffuse those word bombs from destroying your brand and reputation.

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2. Remove Your Head from the Sand

What to do? First of all, the ostrich tactic of burying your head in the sand and hoping it goes away or gets buried by some positive reviews does not work! Good or bad, EVERY review you receive warrants a reply, whether you are thanking a happy customer for taking the time to sing your praises or getting slapped around by a disgruntled keyboard happy complainer that you happened to service on a bad day in their life, you should always respond and explain the situation.

3. Face Your Reviewer

If you are at fault, admit your mistake and offer a solution to resolve the unhappy experience.  If it is a disgruntled former employee or a fake customer, don't be afraid to professionally call them out! The power of a creative and sincere reply can turn any situation into a positive one and actually GAIN you additional customers. 

4. Turn Lemons to Lemonade

Find your own creative style. People are watching, and you can win them over with a simple and thoughtful reply. Check out You've Got Maids of Orange County owner Josh Melendez's reply to an unhappy customer on Yelp. This is a reply to learn from! He took a negative situation and gained a new customer just from his response to the review: 

Original OC Review.png

That kind of review can stun the receiver into silence and stop him in his tracks. Now, not only did Josh not let that happen, he did the opposite and turned a lemon into lemonade with this well-crafted reply: 

OC response.png

So what happened as a result of Josh taking the time to address this potential brand-bruising review? By relaxing, unburying his head from the sand of how much the review hurt to receive, facing his reviewer, and turning lemons into lemonade he actually gained a new customer! 

Leanne reply.png

So the next time you feel battered by negative feedback, think about this scenario and how taking the time to thoughtfully reply to a naysayer can influence those future potential customers to do business with you in spite of the negative review. 

Next time you get a negative review, tackle it in a timely manner with tact and grace. You may just find you have a forgiving and engaged audience! 

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 Additional Tip:

You may want to consider review management software that can easily help you keep track of your reviews and make it a simple process to address the feedback promptly.  

About You've Got Maids®:

You've Got Maids, based in Charleston, South Carolina, is a residential cleaning franchise serving people on-the-go. Currently, You've Got Maids has offices across the country and we are poised for another year of dramatic national franchise growth in 2018. Whether you are interested in a franchise, franchises, franchising, specifically a cleaning franchise, cleaning franchises, house cleaning franchises, a house cleaning business, or a maid franchise, or if you just want to start a house cleaning business, You've Got Maids might be right for you.


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