How to Respond to Negative Reviews About Your Hair Salon
Every business can make mistakes. A restaurant messes up a simple order, an international package arrives a mess, or a hair salon misses an appointment. It happens.
With today’s multiple online possibilities for clients to leave reviews, they can publicly express any frustrations. Whether the negative reviews are justified or not, your reputation is at stake. You cannot control a person’s negative review, but you can control how to respond to a bad review.
If you manage to offer the response or the support an unsatisfied customer wants, your hair salon will possibly get a loyal customer.
How? Fairly simple. They felt listened to, and their problem was acknowledged and solved.
The haircare market is set to grow to $87 billion by 2023, and one of the things you should do if you’re in this type of industry is to claim and optimize pages like Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, or Bing Places. This will also help you with handling online reviews and ratings.
Moreover, keeping a good reputation in the digital world is no longer optional if you want to grow your business. An average business Google profile has 39 reviews, which help consumers decide to interact with a business or to book an appointment online.
Tip: You can manage your schedule, reduce your client no-shows with text reminders and let clients book online with a professional online booking system by using an appointment scheduling software for salons. You can download such an app from the App Store or Google Play for free without having to worry about the cost or the complicated steps to get started. The Goldie scheduling app is very easy to use. 🙂
How Important Are Online Reviews?
To put it simply, they are vital. Online reviews play an essential role in the quality and success of your business.
- 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, 93% of people are aged 35-54 (Bright Local)
- A good online reputation makes customers see a business as trustworthy. (Bright Local)
- Showcasing reviews on your website makes it believable and genuine for the customers. (Bright Local)
- Review ratings influence the most clicks in the local Google searches. (Bright Local)
Ultimately, online reviews showcase a customer’s experience.
A good experience equals brand trust and loyal customers while a bad experience will lead to negative word of mouth and scare potential customers away.
Online reviews will help especially restaurants, beauty salons, hotels, consultants, and medical staff.
A study made by Tripadvisor says that more than 80% of respondents from countries like the US, England, France, Spain, or Italy saying that online restaurant reviews influenced their dining decisions.
To back up the reviews’ theory even more, 74.6% of prospective patients have researched medical reviews prior to engaging with a medical professional, 95% of travelers check online reviews regarding hotels before booking, and 90% of guests research a salon online before visiting.
The darker side of online reviews. Negative reviews.
Negative reviews can cause a lot of damage to your reputation, especially when those reviews are stating contradictory information from the one declared by your business.
Negative reviews can damage your sales fast, with 94% of people saying an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.
Now, 75% of consumers do not trust traditional advertising, recurring to reading online reviews, or asking their friends and family’s opinions.
This can be your chance to turn things around to your advantage.
Negative reviews aren’t always bad, especially when they’re handled correctly. A small percentage of negative online reviews on your hair salon can even make your business more trustworthy.
While a 5-star rating is something every business wants, your customers may think it’s too good to be true and search for something with a 4.5, even 4-star rating.
Let your customers know the real you, with the good and the bad. And obviously, your way of handling the bad.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews About Your Hair Salon
Before going into details about how to respond to negative reviews about your hair salon, there is an important aspect to consider if you want to stay on top of everything that happens online related to your business.
It’s highly recommended to claim your business listings on business review sites such as Facebook Business Page, Google My Business, or Yelp for Business. There are many other business review sites, but these three should give you a good starting point (if you’re not using them already).
In this way, you’ll have better control over your business in the online landscape and actively check and respond to reviews.
Moreover, you can use Google Alert, and every time someone mentions your business name (except for when they do on social media), you’ll be notified.
One last thing before moving on.
Don’t be afraid of responding to negative reviews about your hair salon. Take them as an opportunity to openly interact with clients and turn around their negative feelings into something positive and constructive for both of you.
So, here are a few things to learn about how to respond to a bad review:
1. Respond as soon as possible
Once you read a negative review, assess the customer’s opinion, and think of how you’re going to answer and solve the problem. Don’t answer the minute you read the review because you might act impulsively, but make sure to answer as soon as you’re thinking objectively.
Your consumers live in the same fast-paced world as you do, so they are surely expecting a fast answer to their review. In fact, a survey shows us that 83% of people expect businesses to respond to social media reviews in a day or less. 44% of the millennials expect that answer in an hour or less.
By responding to negative reviews about your hair salon in time, it benefits your business too. While helping the frustrated customer, you’ll make sure they will keep interacting with your business in the future.
The notifications from the business listing mentioned before will help you with answering as fast as possible.
2. Start your message by apologizing
Start your public message by offering an apology, and acknowledge the mistake. Sometimes it may not be the hair salon’s fault, but you still have to handle the negative review.
Empathy will help your hair salon’s reputation.
Say you’re handling the situation and think of solutions for fixing the problem.
Being transparent is the best way to show your customers that you’re more than willing to find solutions despite the mistakes that may occur.
3. Keep it short and sweet
Offering a public response is essential if you’re spotting a negative review, but don’t go overboard with the explanations.
A long response may seem like you’re being irritated, and it also takes too long for the customer to read.
A short and sweet response to make your customer know you’ve acknowledged the problem and taking care of it is enough.
4. Sign your name
It may just be the smallest detail from the process of managing the problem, but by signing your name at the end of the message, your customer will know that it was not an automated message, but a real person answered them.
Also, your customer will be happy to know that someone is paying attention to their review.
Sign your name and leave an invitation to get in touch with your business directly by leaving a contact number or email address.
This takes us directly to the following point.
5. Privately address follow up questions
Once you’ve sent the public message, take the matters in a private conversation.
It’s highly recommended to avoid asking more questions publicly. This can escalate to something embarrassing.
The best thing to do is ask for more details privately, so you will know what the best solution to their frustrations is.
Google, Yelp, and Facebook have built-in tools to message your customers privately.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews Examples
Next, we’ll see a few examples of how to respond to negative reviews on Google addressed to your hair salon.
In the first one, the Supercuts owner started by thanking the customer for their feedback, then continued by moving the situation privately for further discussion.
The following one started with an apology, then an invitation for a follow-up.
The next one is a very good example of how to respond to negative reviews on Google. SmartStyle Hair Salon wants to let their clients know that their business goal is excellent customer service, and they’re more than willing to help customers have a great hair salon experience.
These negative review response examples should give you an overall idea of how to handle a situation in which someone had a bad experience at your hair salon.
On a Final Note
A few bad reviews won’t damage your reputation, especially if you’re handling them. No business is perfect, and everyone is bound to make mistakes. The important aspect here is to learn how to respond to negative reviews.
If, on the other hand, your business is facing a large amount of pressure coming from negative reviews, you should take your time and analyze them to see if they have common ground.
Were the negative reviews addressed to rude employees, staff moving too slow, high prices, low-quality products, or a lack of customer service?
Assess them and see what the next step you need to take is.
I hope this article was insightful and helped you understand how to reply to a bad review of your hair salon.