You always thought that it would never happen to you, but it just did. Your coworking hub received its first negative online review. At first, you don’t believe that anyone could be so mean. Then you try to ignore it, but it doesn’t go away. The truth is that deleting it is not the answer either.
So how can you, the owner of the coworking space, handle the situation in the best way possible? You should know that formulating the perfect response has its own etiquette and there are many ways you can go wrong even with the simplest, shortest of answers. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive list to help you manage the bad online reviews of your coworking space with the best outcome in mind.
Here are 7 steps you can take to manage the situation wisely:
Acknowledge the issue
The first thing you should do is to acknowledge the issue and recognize whether it’s a legitimate argument or just an internet troll aiming for his 2 minutes of online fame. Check if the reviewer ever really attended your coworking hub (you should have some record of this), then try your best to understand the problem from their perspective. Really delve into the reasons why anyone would say such negative things about your coworking hub, and then proceed to the next step. If the commentator seems fake, then the comment should be removed and the user should be blocked from your page.
Own up to your mistake(s)
Once you realize that the person behind the bad online review is one of your old members, do some introspection about the issue they’re raising. Maybe you’ve had some problems at the coworking hub on the day they were present. And even though it seemed like you solved the issue without causing too many problems for your clients, it’s only natural that some people might have been annoyed by it. At this stage, you should definitely take responsibility for the bump in the road and don’t pretend like it never happened, because that can cause even more of a backlash.
Once you’ve owned up to your mistakes, start your response by apologizing. Let them know that they’ve raised a legitimate concern regarding the functionality of the coworking hub and make sure they feel that they’re being heard. Formulate your answer in a way that starts with you expressing some remorse about their concerns and make sure your answer is understood by your entire audience.
Formulate an authentic response
When interacting with people who’ve left a bad review on the page of your coworking hub, don’t just copy a generic response from somewhere else and call it a day. That’s really one of the worst things you can do at this point in the online conversation. Try, instead, to really make some effort to formulate a straightforward answer that truly deals with the issue that’s being raised.
Add some personal touches to your answer
To make your response even more credible, add some personal touches and be empathic when crafting your answer. If you don’t have the time or the writing skills to formulate a proper answer, you should definitely ask your PR specialist to do it. Try to include some type of guarantee about how you’ve remedied the issue (or are in the process of doing so) and how you will do anything in your power to make sure such an unpleasant thing never happens again. Finally, sign it with your name and state your position within the company as well, because it makes the readers know that somebody with responsibility at the shared office space is actually aware of the negative comments and is tackling the issue personally.
Reach out privately as well
If you really want to go out of your way to make sure your reviewer is not left with a bitter taste in their mouth, reach out privately to them as well. Offer them some sort of discount for the next time they decide to come to your coworking hub and reiterate your apology. End on a friendly note, stating that you hope they feel satisfied with the outcome of their actions and let them know they’re still welcome at your shared office space.
Use it as a learning experience
Lastly, but most importantly, look back at this occurrence in a fond way and consider it a major learning experience. Don’t ever take bad online reviews personally, but pick up the subtle hints when something is not working perfectly and do your best to remedy the situation. Remember that flustered, abrupt and angry responses never help anybody, so take time in crafting your answers whenever you receive negative feedback and go through the steps we presented above for a wholesome reply.