Social media and online salon marketing can do wonders for your salon business as these efforts allow you to quickly and easily showcase your fabulous work to a wider audience which may, in turn, attract new clients to try out your services!

We have, however, all heard about the ugly side of social media, and you may be wondering what you should do if someone takes to your Trustpilot page, Facebook page or Google Reviews to voice some negative comments about your hair, beauty, nail salon or barbershop.

In this article, we hope to equip you with some top tips to protect you from falling foul to online complaints…

What should I do if I get a bad review online?

Online reviews for a salon

According to one survey*, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses.

What’s more, 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.

This means that the importance of showing off your customer service skills online could really make your business shine – even when you have received some negative feedback.

Here is what you should do to make sure you handle the situation as well as possible…

Keep reviewing your feedback.

Firstly, you need to make sure you are aware of any bad reviews as soon as possible. If someone makes a complaint about their service and doesn’t get a response, your chances of them returning are slim. They also will probably be more likely to tell their friends!

Who left the review?

Next, figure out where this review has come from. Do you remember their appointment? Did the client voice their concern at the time? Getting as much information on what went wrong can not only help you respond to the review but can help you improve your service in future. Perhaps something as simple as improving your hair colour consultations?

Discover: 5 Ways To Improve Your Salon Profitability In 2023

How do you respond to a bad salon review?

Woman responding to negative reviews

Think about your response.

It’s never a good idea to hammer out a response and fire it off without thinking it through!

Remember, whatever you post online can be seen by anyone – meaning both existing and future clients! It’s important that you respond professionally and helpfully.

This means:

  • Don’t take criticism personally or make personal comments in return.
  • Accept that the reviewer might have legitimate concerns.
  • Offer to find a resolution for your client –  Maybe invite them back in for a follow-up appointment.
  • Remain polite – even if the reviewer is coming across as rude.

Getting a negative review needn’t be the end of the world. Most importantly, you deal with it professionally – Thank them for sharing their thoughts and letting them know you will take their concerns on board.

If needed, take it offline.

So, say you have left a well-thought-out and professional response to a review. But they come back with an even angrier response. What should you do? It is also never a good idea for your business to get caught in a public argument online. If you want to discuss it further, ask them to give you a private message or even a phone call. Otherwise, it may be best to leave it alone.

Related: How to Deal With Difficult Clients

What if I get a fake review?

Unfortunately, fake reviews do happen. If you have double-checked your database, spoken to all of your stylists, and are sure that this client doesn’t exist, somebody may have done a fake review.

If this is the case, you could still respond. Tell them you take feedback seriously – but can’t find details of their appointment. Invite them to phone or email you to resolve it personally – if they don’t, you will know it wasn’t legitimate, and you will still show off your glowing customer service.

If the fake review is really bad, you can try removing it. On Google Reviews, choose the option to flag the comment as inappropriate. It may be that the reviewer is a repeat offender and will swiftly be removed.

You may also enjoy Timely – The Booking Software App You Need For Your Salon.

The best ways to turn a negative review into a positive

Turning a negative review left for your salon business into a positive one can be challenging, but with the right approach, it is possible to salvage the situation and even enhance your reputation.

Here are some steps you can take to address a negative review and turn it into a positive outcome:

1. Respond promptly and empathetically

Responding promptly and showing genuine empathy is crucial when you come across a negative review. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns and apologise for any negative experience they had. Expressing empathy demonstrates that you value their feedback and are committed to resolving the issue.

2. Investigate the issue internally.

Once you’ve established direct communication with the customer, take the time to investigate the issue internally. Talk to your staff, review the relevant records, and gather all the necessary information to comprehensively understand what happened. This step will help you respond with specific and informed solutions.

3. Offer a genuine resolution.

Based on your investigation, devise a solution that addresses the customer’s concerns and offers genuine value. It could involve offering a complimentary service, a discount on their next visit, or any other appropriate compensation. Clearly communicate the resolution and explain how you plan to rectify the situation.

4. Provide updates and follow-through.

After offering a resolution, keeping the customer informed throughout the process is important. Update them on the progress you’re making, and ensure that you follow through on your promises. Regular communication demonstrates your commitment to resolving the issue and rebuilding trust.

5. Encourage the customer to update their review.

Once you’ve successfully resolved the customer’s concerns, kindly request that they consider updating their review. Highlight the actions you took to address the issue and emphasise how you value their feedback. A positive update from the customer can help offset the impact of the negative review and showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.

6. Learn from the experience.

Use the negative review as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Analyse the feedback and identify any underlying issues or patterns that need addressing. Implement changes in your salon business practices to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future. Why not look at our guide on achieving the perfect salon consultation to help nip any ambiguity with the client in the bud from the start?

7. Proactively generate positive reviews.

Actively encourage your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to counterbalance any negative feedback. Provide them with convenient platforms or links to share their positive experiences. The presence of numerous positive reviews can overshadow a single negative review and provide potential customers with a more accurate representation of your salon’s quality.

Remember, turning a negative review into a positive outcome requires patience, empathy, and a commitment to resolving the customer’s concerns. By addressing the issue promptly, providing genuine resolutions, and actively seeking feedback, you can improve your salon’s reputation and enhance your customer relationships.

Take a look at How To Increase Your Salon Prices Without Losing Clients.

How about positive reviews?

Spa chatting good reviews

Let’s not end on a negative!

If you provide a service, you are proud of. You are sure to get way more positive reviews than negative reviews! Make sure you reply to all of your positive feedback personally. Thank them for their kind words and for letting them know how welcome they are to return.

Your best line of defence against negative reviews is to outweigh them with the glowing feedback you are likely to receive from your many happy clients. Try and encourage your clients to leave feedback online – if they are happy to, you could even ask them if you can post a picture of their new hair or nails on your salon’s Facebook page. This makes it more likely that they will comment when they see it.

Related: How to Get More Meaningful Feedback From Your Salon Clients

Make sure your clients follow your social profiles, too. This makes it easier for them to tag themselves at your location and let all their friends know how pleased they are with their visit to your salon.

At the end of the day, you should focus on impressing your clients and encouraging them to engage positively with your salon online. If the odd bad comment comes along, the best thing to do is learn from it and move on!


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