Responding to a negative review that someone has left about your business is difficult. You want to own the issue and offer resolution and you want to appear reasonable to your prospects, but finding just the right response can be challenging for a range of reasons. Sometimes the customer has been totally unreasonable, sometimes you are having a bad day and just take it personally and sometimes you just can't find the right words.
I want to perform an experiment with all of you. If it goes well, we may do more surveys with other real world reviews.
I will share a review and then ask you to write a response to that review as if you were the owner. I will then share the actual response with you and ask you to critique it. Maybe together we can find just the right combination of words that will best serve the business.
Here is a real negative review.
I've been seeing Barbara for years ... long before she opened her own business. She had always been warm and friendly, happily meeting my every need and with awesome jewelry. I have sent many friends to her. Of late, Ms. Oliver is not the same person I once gladly recommended. Unless I'm willing to spend large sums of money per visit, it seems she can't be bothered. My last encounter with her resulted in a promised follow-up that never came. It's important that a merchant always show respect and courtesy to all, especially those who helped make your business. Maybe it's just my impression, but Barbara seems to forget where she came from and those who knew her "back when"!
Here is some backstory:
Barbara initially had no idea who the poster was. She was not a recent customer and did not show up in any recent transaction. After some back and forth and a number of revisions to a response, Barbara remembered the person and estimated that it had been almost three years between the visit and the response.
Please take a moment to let us know how you would have responded and what you thought of the real world response that was given.
If you have a real review response that you would like to have highlighted, let us know via the comments.