We all work hard at our trade and receiving online reviews is sometimes the greatest form of flattery and ego stroking, right? Whether its facebook, google or an online business search engine like TrueLocal, when someone tells everyone how good you are…you’re completely chuffed! What about when it’s negative?

 One of the hardest things about listing your work or business online is that social media isn’t always used for good and its evil can be harsh, leaving you dealing with criticism and even extreme trolling.

A bad comment, unlike a review, is simple. You remove it, forget about it and retaliate by blocking the trouble maker never to have to hear from the so and so ever again…but a review is another level of headache.

A negative online review can be a problematic situation as you can’t usually have them deleted, and they’ll hang around, haunting you like the ghosts of ex’s past, with a damaged rating and an anger that could boil water.

Sometimes it’s understandable and its an unhappy customer venting their frustrations. Shop behavior may have offended them, they could have been left waiting or they simply didn’t feel the value for money in your service.

In writing this piece, I realised that it seems people nowadays find it easier to give you an online bashing rather than get on the phone or pop back into your shop to discuss their concerns. Social media has bred a real ignorance for the people skills that are needed for problem solving and keeping the harmony.

So what do you do? How do you react?

Regardless of who and what has been said, always try to respond professionally and positively. And as hard as that may be sometimes, refraining rolling up your sleeves and preparing to unleash an ass whipping, it is the smarter approach. Killing them with kindness and taking the higher ground gives you a more sympathetic view from other readers and actually turns the negative into a positive.

If it has come from a client then its time to jump into action and sort it out. Check your history and research the visit in question, the barber and get the facts. Contact them and discuss it openly. Listen and look for solutions. Be humble and assess their concerns.

Then there is the uncontrollable troll… The keyboard commando that has never been to your business, seen you do a haircut or even laid eyes on you personally. These guys get on my goat! Nothing better to do than open bogus profiles and screw with people’s hard work and unfortunately not a lot you can do about them.

An example of good prospering over this kind of bad behavior – I had a situation where I had a guy that had never visited my shop go onto facebook and bash my business, leaving a one star rating. I replied to him but got no response so I took it to the next level. With a screenshot of his comment, I shared it out on my private facebook with a message explaining how upsetting it was that you work your ass off and cop low damaging reviews from fake clients.

I learnt that I have an awesome set of friends…lol…he got rolled hard.

His page got bombarded with comments attacking his behavior and in the end I got a private message from him asking that I call everyone off and ‘don’t make it personal’. He removed his comment and review never to be heard from again. WIN!

Not my recommended solution but it worked.
So what do we take from this?
Well the answer probably isn’t so much in dealing with them…it’s more about avoiding them. Ensure you and your staff know how to perform correctly. Do the best you can do and be happy with that. If you’ve ticked every box that customers would expect, then respond and react from a position of strength because sometime there’s simply just weirdos in this world.

Happy Chopping!