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How To Handle A Negative Online Review Of Your Spa

How To Handle A Negative Online Review Of Your Spa
No matter how good we think we are, there will always be someone who is not happy. That is the nature of the customer service role; unfortunately, we have to put up with customers pushing for more and more all the time. Yet this continues to improve the quality of services offered at your spa and makes you a better spa manager or spa owner. The reality is that even though they have already had a pretty good deal, some clients will be greedy and push their luck. They know that if they catch you on the right day or find a particular member of staff, they can get compensated for something that does not really warrant it.  There are, of course, genuine complaints that need to be dealt with properly and should not be taken lightly in any way at all. Mistakes happen, and sometimes we have to be able to admit an error and try to salvage the situation without any further damage. In the world of social media and online reviewing, customers are a lot braver than they used to be. They now feel they have the authority to publish negative online reviews and negative feedback about everything.  There is a fine balance to be had when dealing with a bad review or an online complaint. On one hand, you want to stick up for yourself/your team/the business and try to fight your corner to a certain extent. On the other hand, you will need to rectify the situation first for the customer, who you do not want to lose or risk them bad-mouthing the service to any further potential customers. Secondly, you want to sort the problem out as soon as possible, so you can investigate why it occurred in the first place and ensure it does not happen again (if necessary).  So how do we go about it? It is very important that you address each bad review. This article will explain the best approach and advise on certain situations that may sound familiar to those already in the spa sector, and how to deal with unhappy customers’ online reviews. 

Situations of Handling Negative Online Reviews

1: Data Leak

The Problem: A lady is constantly being contacted via marketing about booking into the spa again, even though she has never visited your facility and doesn’t live in the area. The lady is fed up with receiving offers that are not applicable to her and wants action taken. She has tried phoning but could not get through, so felt she had no other option but to post a review to get noticed. The Solution: In all likelihood, someone with the same name has used your spa and put down the wrong email address by mistake. One digit or letter in the wrong place can unfortunately cause chaos, and these situations are the consequences of this type of human error. Our Advice: Contact ‘My Data Matters’ and inform them of the data breach. They will advise about contacting the person on your system and informing them of the situation (and correcting the personal information on file asap). You will need to apologize to the lady formally and explain the actions you have taken to rectify the situation. You may not need to go into too much detail, but she deserves an explanation of what you think has happened before reassuring her the matter is solved, and it will not happen again.

2: Waiting Times

The Problem: A regular client has complained that she has been delayed going to her appointment on more than one occasion due to the number of people in reception. The Solution: Investigate the complaint by checking CCTV of the times the customer was booked in before responding to the review. This way you can determine if the cause of the delay was down to it being a particularly busy time, staff congregating in the wrong areas for a chat, or any other reason. Our Advice: Firstly, apologize for any delay caused (whether it was your fault or not) and reiterate how important punctuality is at your company. Then proceed to explain to the client what you have discovered upon investigating and what you intend to do about it in the future. 

3: Delay in Product Delivery

The Problem: An online customer has bought a product from your online shop and selected a collection from your premises. They turned up on the appointed day to be told that it had not arrived and that you had none on site. It was a birthday present, and they have now missed the day in question, so they want a refund as they no longer require the product.  The Solution: Find out exactly what happened with the delivery and drop off before apologizing profusely to the customer. Try to avoid the refund if you can by suggesting a free product or service instead. If this does not suit the client, process the refund to save face. Our Advice: Apologize and explain that the supplier or courier was delayed in delivering the products, to take the heat off yourselves at the facility. You are the one facing the customer and have to take the brunt of these kinds of errors.

Do this privately and apologize again for the unintentional bad experience.

4: Staff Attitude

The Problem: A Therapist has been reported to be giving off a poor impression to customers, and a client has a similar experience with the staff member in question and posts a review about it for the world to see. The Solution: You need to nip this in the bud quickly before it escalates. Show the member of staff the review and ask their thoughts on what has been said. Whatever their reasons or excuses are for this slump in performance, inform them that you have to act on this because it has been made public and is potentially damaging to the brand’s reputation. Our Advice: You should initially give the member of staff the benefit of doubt until you see this for yourself. Monitor their performance closely and even sit in on their sessions, especially if the complainant is booked in again. If the allegations are true, then compensate the customer with spa vouchers and a written apology.

5: Insufficient Products

The Problem: A customer has bought some skincare products that have not done what they are advertised to and is not happy. They decide to leave a negative review on a social platform. The Solution: You should reiterate that these products will not work instantly and can sometimes take months or years to come into full effect. Offer alternative means to what the product is meant to do. For example, if they purchased anti-aging cream, then try a facial to pacify them. Our Advice:  You need to determine if this is a faulty product or an awkward customer. It is possible that this product simply did not agree with the client, or that they are expecting some kind of miracle turnaround after a short period of use.  In either case, you need to offer something else to make amends.

6: Poor Service

The Problem: You have received a complaint from a customer who has had a bad experience during their visit to your spa. The Solution: This is where you need to look at how you could improve your services to prevent such complaints from occurring in the future. You may have already addressed this problem but if not, you should consider implementing a few changes. You could also ensure that all your therapists are trained properly so that they know what they are doing. Our Advice: It leaves a good impression when you thank your customer for their valuable feedback regardless of what they are complaining about. Sometimes kind words could turnaround a negative reviewer into a positive customer experience and ending your online answer with a thoughtful response will encourage customers to continue doing business with you in the future.

Refer your customer to your Frequently Asked Questions section

A lot of negative online reviews can be avoided by directing people to the FAQ section of your website. Here are some examples of questions you should be able to answer in anticipation of spa queries online that will help you pre-empt and potentially avoid negative experiences; 

How Can I Buy A Voucher/Gift Card? 

You can purchase vouchers/gift cards from our website as well as any of our Spas, nationwide. 

What’s The Difference Between A Voucher And A Gift Card? 

Both gift cards and vouchers make ideal gifts. The most popular vouchers are E-Vouchers, which are sent via email. Alternatively, you can purchase a gift card within a presentation box which can be posted out to you. The gift vouchers can be sent to yourself or a recipient instantly via email, or can be printed at home, these are perfect for a last-minute gift. 

What Are The Postage Costs? 

Postage costs are (sum) for Gift Cards and (sum) for a Gift Card dispatched in a Presentation Box. Delivery can take for example 3-5 working days using (courier name). If you have not received your order after 5 working days, please contact us. 

When Do The Vouchers Expire? 

Our Vouchers and Gift Cards are valid for a set amount of time, which should be clearly printed on them and relayed to you upon confirmation of purchase. For any queries regarding the validity of your Voucher or Gift Card, please contact us straight away, ideally before you book. Some promotional offers are valid for a set period of time. Once this period ends, if the voucher or gift card has not been redeemed, the balance will convert to a monetary amount that can be used during the remainder of the validity period. Treatments and day spa bookings are subject to availability, so please ensure you book and attend in advance prior to your expiry date. Please note that we cannot extend a Gift Card/Voucher if it has already expired. 

What To Do If You Lose Your Voucher? 

If your voucher is lost/stolen, please contact us immediately, so we can assist you before your voucher is redeemed, without your knowledge. 

How Do I Book My Third-Party Voucher?

Select third-party vouchers that can be redeemed online. Please ensure you include the voucher details, as we need to take some information from the voucher. Please also have in mind a couple of possible dates that you can attend the Spa so that we can check availability for you. Our helpful team will reply with all the details about what time to arrive and what to bring on the day. 

I’ve Made My Booking But Want To Change My Booking, What Should I Do?

When you make your booking, we redeem your voucher with a third-party company. Once a date is confirmed, this action is completed, and you are then committed to a booking with our Spa. Your voucher cannot then be refunded or exchanged with the third-party company. You can change the date of your booking for a Spa Day without charge as long as it is outside our 48-hour Amendment policy. Within 48 hours, this is subject to an administrative fee. 

Do You Need My Voucher? 

Yes, your voucher is your payment method, and we need proof of validity at the Spa. 

My Voucher Has Expired, Can I Still Book? 

Unfortunately, as your voucher is from a third party, we cannot accept a booking with an expired voucher. You would need to contact the relevant third-party company to see if they could help extend your voucher. In conclusion, it is important to take action to rectify a terrible experience and avoid any future negative reviews. In some cases, this may mean apologising to the customer and offering them a refund or compensation. In other cases, it may mean implementing new policies or procedures at your spa to avoid poor reviews in the future. Whatever the case may be, it is important to take swift and decisive action to protect your business’s reputation. Your response can turn a difficult customer to a happy customer.
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About Me

Hey there, welcome to the blog! I’m Carmen. I have over 30 years of experience in the beauty and wellness industry. My goal is to help smart spa business owners and managers like you achieve the success and freedom you deserve and that I desperately wanted when I started.

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