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Every business experiences negative reviews from unhappy customers. The most important thing to remember is to not take the criticism personally. With pre-planning and customer service policies, use the negative feedback as an opportunity to enhance your franchise location.

Handle all negative reviews in a graceful, professional manner. Actively work toward resolving the issue.

Dealing with Negative Feedback

Owning a franchise location means dealing with both positive and negative feedback from customers. By addressing the situation, other customers will realize their opinion matters to your business.

A valued customer equals repeat business. When a negative review occurs, the situation can act as a learning opportunity for your business. Use the situation as a chance to improve customer service and business procedures.

Respond Immediately

The first step in dealing with negative reviews is the response. Never ignore a customer’s negative review.

Allowing a customer to continue complaining about a dissatisfying experience only attracts more publicity to the situation. With the use of social media and online reviews, ignoring a problem can create damaging results to your franchise location.

Without an immediate response, an angry customer can actually hurt your profit margins and reputation. Begin with a thoughtful response, not the same overused answer to the customer complaint. Delaying the response can create further damage to your business.

Avoid Arguments

Your franchise location is your pride and joy. Your initial reaction may be defensive.

Avoid falling into the argument push-and-pull routine. Arguing with a customer in person or online creates more opportunities for negative reviews. Others may simply join in on the conversation as a way to get publicity.

If the customer is at your franchise location, address the issue immediately. An upset customer draws unwanted attention.

  • Begin simply by listening actively to the issue.
  • Do not engage in any form of negative commentary.
  • Offer a solution, either with a refund, discount or a reorder.
  • Apologize — the apology shows you acknowledge the situation. You do not have to agree with the customer’s negative assessment.

If the negative reviews or comments are online, follow the same type of customer service procedure. Remember social media and online reviews allow for easier access to customer complaints.

The downside to the easy access is being drawn into the negative review in an unprofessional manner. Engaging on a personal level creates harm for your business.

  • Avoid online arguments. Others sites share negative reviews. Unprofessional responses can instantly span numerous social media outlets.
  • Keep all the comments professional and short.
  • Ask the customer to elaborate on the dissatisfying experience in a personal e-mail, phone call or customer service form.
  • When the customer contacts you, offer a fair solution.
  • Follow up with an online response to ensure the customer satisfaction.

Offer an Extra Incentive

After the incident, follow up with the disgruntled customer by offering an extra incentive. A small discount or free product acts as a token of appreciation.

When an unhappy customer feels their opinion counts, the outcome may result in repeat business. The situation can create a learning experience for your franchise location.

Owning a business requires strategic planning. Interacting with customers is part of business ownership. Without customers, your franchise location will fail.

Customer service is crucial for daily business interactions. Providing the best customer service requires addressing negative reviews with professionalism.

Dealing with a disgruntled customer can be a difficult task. Avoiding negative reviews only harms the situation. Keeping customers happy enhances every aspect of your daily business routine.

Visit our website to find out more about owning and operating a Fully Promoted franchise.

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