How to Respond to a Negative Review
In last week’s blog post, I told the story of my daughter’s wedding and the multiple gaffes made by the DJ. I finished the piece by indicating that I would be writing an unflattering Google review.
But that’s not the end of the story.
Now, I write a pretty good letter. In fact, I’d say I write two different kinds of letters particularly well: Praise you and Screw you. For this particular situation, I countered the 18 other five-star reviews with a one-star detailing of what happened at the reception.
I wrote about the disappointment, but not in anger.
I wrote about the lack of professionalism but added “everyone makes mistakes” as a way of pointing out that no crime was committed, just stupidity.
When I was done, I reread the piece, decided it was fair, and hit, “Submit.”
The next morning, a reply was posted under my Google review. In it, the DJ apologized and took full responsibility. There were no excuses. He owned it. He told me he was horrified and deeply remorseful.
30 minutes later, I took my review down.
These days an online review holds incredible power. Maligned former employees have taken down restaurants by starting a rumor in a review or simply stating something that’s not true. As I sat and ate my breakfast, I thought about two things:
- How I wish others handled my boneheaded mistakes, and;
- How impressed I was with his response.
Sooner or later, you will screw up a job. It might be within your control, a dumb oversight, or it might be a production error or delay. Either way, your response to the mishap can either add fuel to the fire or can cause a client to stop and think, “Isn’t this the kind of company I want to do my print, one that owns their mistakes, learns from them, makes them right, then take steps to assure they are not repeated?”
A few days after the wedding, the brides received a partial refund as a gesture of goodwill. In time, we will retell the story and laugh. Our memories will include the errors but also the way the errors were handled.
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