how to deal with bad yelp review

Have you ever received a bad Yelp review? I have and let me tell you my heart was in pain. The bad review ruined my day, my week and my month. Do you think I’m exaggerating? I’m not! If you’re like me, you take your lash business very seriously and things like a bad Yelp review are very personal.

I wish I could tell you that in my seven years of owning lash salons I have only received one bad Yelp review; if I said that I would be lying. The thing is ladies, people want to be heard, especially when they’re upset, and that includes your clients. I had to find a way to deal with upset clients’ negative reviews without getting my feelings involved. I just couldn’t let it ruin my day, week, month anymore. Dang those feelings!

I created this 5-step process to get me through my emotional reaction to bad reviews. I started to pay attention to what clients generally wrote about in bad Yelp reviews and how my response could turn the situation around. I’m a perfectionist, who would have guessed I would have this much experience dealing with upset clients?

Step 1: Listen to the Upset Client

We all have different perspectives, so even if you think this client is full of it, listen and try to understand their side. People want to know that you care enough to listen. They also want you to actually understand their concern. Without listening to understand, you won’t get anywhere with an upset client. So, step 1, listen to understand the client’s perspective.

Step 2: Apologize to the Upset Client

Regardless of whether the client is right or wrong, apologize. If the client has offended you (which could happen), it might be difficult for you to set your pride aside to apologize, but like Nike’s slogan says, “Just do it.” I promise it’s worth it. Remember that one bad Yelp review can reach hundreds and hundreds of potential clients, so bite the bullet and apologize! We want those potential lash clients to be actual clients and not click on your competitor’s page instead of staying on yours. A little “I’m sorry” never hurt anybody.

Step 3: Appreciation for the Feedback

Let the client know that you appreciate them taking time out of their busy life to give you and your lash business feedback. Without feedback, you and your business cannot learn and grow. Even if you can’t find anything to learn from this situation, dealing with this situation is a learning experience in and of itself. Come on ladies; our glass is half full right?! Just be gracious and thank them.

Step 4: Find a Solution

Okay, so you’ve listened to understand, sincerely apologized and thanked them for their feedback, now you need to make it right. Every situation is different, so use your best judgment. Do you need to offer them a complimentary fill? Do you need to provide a complimentary removal? This is where you show the client that you understand and are truly sorry they had a bad experience. Like they say, walk the talk. Whatever you decide to do to make the upset client a happy client, make sure their new experience is perfect. This is your chance to close the deal. You know, the deal of the client changing their 1-star yelp review to 5 shiny stars!

Step 5: Learn

There is always something to learn, right? If the client wasn’t happy with their lash extensions, does the lash artist need additional training or are they just getting complacent? It’s better to find out now and fix the problem before you have to deal with a few more bad Yelp reviews as opposed to just the one. Maybe the lash artist was rude, and you need to address good customer service practices with them. Whatever the issue was, do your best to discuss it with your staff as soon as possible. And if you and your staff can’t find any truth in the client’s complaint, it’s still a learning experience. Biting your tongue takes practice!

Okay, so you completed the 5-step process and the client doesn’t remove or change the bad Yelp review, what now? Respond publicly to the review. Again, hundreds and hundreds of potential clients are going to see this bad review and you should let them know that you did everything you could to make it better. Keep your response upbeat and apologetic. The goal is to have these potential clients think, “Wow, they care,” or, “They really tried to make that client happy,” and ultimately, “Jeez, that might just be a bad client.”

Show these potential clients how well your lash salon treats even unhappy customers through your public response. Even a lousy Yelp review can be a good thing if you respond to it professionally!

I hope by sharing my 5-step process, I’m able to help you deal with your not-so-welcomed reviews too. And for the ones who’ve never received a bad Yelp review, go you!!!

XO, Vanessa Molica

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