Building my business / Growing my tribe

Stop the sting of nasty online reviews

Madeline Maguire Jan / 21 / 2015

You’ve heard the horror stories before, and you may have fallen victim to this yourself. An unhappy client leaves the salon angry, and goes home to tell the world about it on every reviews site they find. Suddenly that review seems to pop up everywhere online, sending the wrong message about your brand to prospective clients.

If you’re a multi-site business, one bad review at one location can negatively impact your whole group!

At a time when negative PR can spread like wildfire, it’s understandable that many business owners feel helpless. It’s one thing to ask clients if they are happy with their service, but unfortunately many people feel too uncomfortable to tell you the truth to your face.

When you’ve spent a whole service chatting one-to-one with a client, it only makes negative feedback harder to hear. So what are you supposed to do if you want a great online brand but your clients won’t tell you the truth until it’s too late?

You need to get in fast and give them a way to give you feedback in a non-confrontational manner. The easiest way to do this is via a quick email or SMS survey sent automatically after they walk out the door. Shortcuts clients can do this using Spotlight.

From your client’s perspective, this gives them an opportunity to let you know how they feel, without feeling awkward about it. Opening up those communication channels instantly minimises the chance their frustration will build and explode into an online rant, and more importantly gives you the chance to save them.

Even if they do go on to write a not-so-positive post, once you have reached out and tried your best to resolve the issue, it’s common for reviewers to go back and update their initial review.

You might also learn a few things about your business that you may have never known otherwise. A great example of this came from one of our clients recently, who had no idea why her client retention was dropping until Spotlight client surveys revealed her staff weren’t sweeping the floors while she was out of the salon.

So what’s the lesson here? Shining a light on your customer service standards has never been more important as it is today. Giving clients the chance to give you feedback privately, and their own terms, is the most effective way to protect your online brand.

You’re never going to please everyone, but instant feedback technology gives us the opportunity to rectify issues as they happen and ultimately create a better experience for our clients.


Madeline Maguire
Madeline Maguire
Madeline is a seasoned beauty marketing specialist, having worked with a wide range of consumer and trade brands throughout Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Working in a global role at Shortcuts, Madeline executes marketing strategies throughout the USA and Australian markets.

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