One of the most important things a facility can do is take an active role in reputation management. Your facility depends upon the customer experience. In the hit mockumentary TV show, “The Office,” one of the most quotable characters is Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson). A loyal yet eccentric employee of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, Dwight delivers one-liners with blunt honesty and unawareness of social norms. While his indifference towards politeness could be recipe for disaster, Dwight actually provides pretty great pieces of advice when it comes to handling difficult clientele. Let’s put a spin on the party game “3 Truths and a Lie” and play the Dwight Schrute-approved “3 Facts and a False.”
FACT: It can be uncomfortable when responding to a bad review and your first instinct might be to avoid it at all costs. However, bad reviews play an enormous role in customer acquisition and influencing other people’s purchasing decisions. Willingness to engage is the first step in turning bad experiences into good ones.
“The reason that I got bad customer reviews is because I didn’t! There is a massive conspiracy going on here, and I know you’re involved.”
FALSE: Don’t discount someone else’s experience. Before you feel the need to point fingers or defend your business, you must first examine what you could have done better. Even if someone’s experience seems outlandish or impossible, there is always an element of truth and that needs to be investigated. After all, the customer is always right.
“Whenever I’m about to do something I think, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ and if they would, I do not do that thing.”
FACT: When acknowledging a negative review, make sure to be both polite in tone and apologetic in your response. Let them know you appreciate their bringing this to your attention and that you want to make things right. From here, provide the contact information of someone they can speak with to resolve the issue. This in turn will move the conversation offline and hopefully deter further comments on the review.
“My feelings regenerate at twice the speed of a normal man’s.”
FACT: When it comes to customer reviews, it’s important to address the issue presented and seek a resolution. While you should do everything you can to fix a problem, it’s also necessary to know when to move on. Sometimes people are just never going to be happy, even if you’ve done everything in your power to make a situation right. Learn from this situation and do better next time.