According to Lockhart Meyer, a salon marketing website in the UK, salon reviews are ‘marketing dynamite’. Just take a look at the following statistics:
– 88% of consumers say that they trust online reviews, as much as personal recommendations.
– 72% of consumers say that positive online reviews make them trust local businesses more.
– 57% of consumers will visit a local business website after reading a positive review.
Based from these statistics, it is easy to see just how big an impact positive reviews make on a local business. If you would like to boost your popularity, increase your revenue, and ensure the growth of your business, then it is a must to work on gaining as many positive reviews as you can.
Let’s say that you are a beauty salon owner. You’ve already gained that momentum in gathering as many online reviews as you can. But when you received an email alert, you suddenly found out that you have a lone negative review. How are you supposed to deal with it? Read on to find out.
Ways to Deal with Negative Salon Reviews
Still based on the figures published by Lockhart Meyer, 31% of consumers read online customer reviews, which is where they base their buying decisions from. A bigger 56% search for online reviews of restaurants and cafes; 35% for hotels or bed and breakfasts; another 35% for doctors and dentists.
Since almost one-third of your customers would first check out your online reviews, what would happen if majority of them are negative? If you have only two reviews, for instance, and one is negative, then there’s already a 50% chance that the client will go with another salon with more positive reviews.
The minute that you learn that a negative review for your salon is out, here’s what you need to do:
• Don’t panic!
Remember that even the biggest and most established companies are bound to receive a negative review once in a while about the product or service they’re offering. This is a risk that you have to take in this increasingly online world. If you do get a negative review or a low rating, take a deep breath and calm down. Don’t panic, then proceed to the next step.
• Respond to the negative review in a professional manner.
Your salon most probably has a website and social media accounts. Who maintains these? If it’s one of your staff or if you assigned a specific person to handle your online accounts, make sure to have him or her respond right away to the negative review. Issue a professional apology first. Then, offer a practical solution to the grievance. If the customer who filed the negative review is amenable to it, you can offer to repeat the service (haircut, makeup, hair coloring) for free and make sure that it is satisfactory this time. The customer might be willing to take down or delete review, then even post a positive one!
• Never delete a negative review, or solicit positive reviews in exchange of goodies or freebies.
It may sound tempting but you should never delete a negative review, especially if the complaint is valid. Perhaps the only time that you should delete a negative review is when it is full of profanities and it’s obvious that the customer just wants to rile you. Other than that, handle the complaint in a professional manner.
It’s also never a good idea to ask family members to post positive reviews for your salon online, in exchange of goods or services. This is similar to bribery and you want to conduct your business in an honest, straightforward way.
• Have a meeting with the staff about the aspect of your service which has become the focus of the negative review.
Finally, check if the subject of the negative review is valid. If it’s a less-than-satisfactory hair coloring job or if it’s an ‘ugly’ haircut, talk to the staff who delivered the service and make sure that it does not happen again.
Receiving negative reviews is perfectly normal – it’s the way that you respond to it which makes all the difference. By turning it into a positive interaction with your customer, you can actually make negative salon reviews work in your favor.