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Negative Feedback Gone Social

By: Regina M. Tucker
Posted: December 30, 2011, from the January 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

It’s happened to many skin care professionals: You just finished performing a facial and thought it went great; the client purchased the suggested retail and even said she would be back in the coming weeks. Then, a few days later when you visited an online review site and saw a post that the client had written about her visit, you were surprised because it was not a favorable review. The rise of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and local review websites such as Yelp, have placed a new demand on professionals and business owners today.

Some businesses do a weekly check of popular online review and social media sites to see what clients are saying about them, and to see what kind of reputation they have in cyber space. Ask your staff to help develop a feedback response plan that is fair to both the client and the skin care professional. The plan should always be balanced, fair and well thought out. Be careful of offering discounts to appease clients; you don’t want to become the spa that everyone goes to and then complains about simply to receive a discount on their services. There are several different approaches that can be used when dealing with negative reviews. Following are pros and cons of three different strategies for feedback response.

Reaching out to a client who reports a negative spa experience online

Pros. Clients feel as if they are being heard, and that their feedback is valuable. Constructive feedback can provide useful insight for a business to make improvements in internal and external operations.

Cons. It can be time-consuming.If negative posts are related tospecific technicians, they might feel left out of the process if they are not included in the response process.

Ignoring negative posts

Pros. Those seemingly negative remarks may have been posted by an overzealous competitor.