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Uh Oh, A Negative Review! 6 Smart Ways Salon Owners Can Handle Criticism and Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

Uh Oh, A Negative Review! 6 Smart Ways Salon Owners Can Handle Criticism and Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

Uh Oh, A Negative Review! 6 Smart Ways Salon Owners Can Handle Criticism and Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

You pour your passion, creativity, and long hours into growing your salon business. Reading negative feedback stings, even when you try your best. What next? How do you deal with criticism?

Take a deep breath and read on. In this post, we’ll explore 6 savvy strategies to handle negative reviews. You’ll learn how to turn criticism into opportunities to improve, delight clients, and lift your salon to new heights.

1) Lead With Empathy

Even if you feel the criticism is unfair, start by apologizing. A sincere “I’m sorry you had that experience” opens the door to dialogue instead of defensiveness. It shows you empathize with the client’s perspective and aim to make it right, building goodwill.

Follow up privately to better understand their concerns one-on-one. Was it an off day for a staff member or a process breakdown? The more context you gain, the better you can improve.

Pro Tip: Empower all staff to listen deeply to client concerns without getting defensive.

2) Take Action to Make It Right

If the complaint relates to a real service or staff issue, now’s the time for action. Review your policies, training programs, or staff coaching to pinpoint where and how to improve. Fix the weaknesses at the root.

Then clearly communicate those positive changes to the client who complained. Plus, give frontline staff talking points to share the improvements too, reassuring clients you’re listening.

Pro Tip: Consider offering an incentive like a free treatment or product to bring dissatisfied clients back in and “wow” them.

3) Transform Criticism Into Growth

Every piece of negative feedback contains invaluable insights. Do a post-mortem to identify weak spots and introduce positive changes. Survey staff too – they often notice blindspots.

This review process transforms dissatisfied clients into loyal supporters when you implement improvements. Plus it helps continuously strengthen your salon’s health.

Pro Tip: Publicly thank clients for taking the time to provide feedback. It encourages more truth-telling.

4) Respond Publicly, Discuss the Details Privately

While taking detailed conversations offline is crucial, you still need to publicly acknowledge negative reviews on the actual review site. This visibility reassures all potential clients you hear concerns, care deeply about the client experience, and work hard to make it outstanding.

Designate one thoughtful, responsive point person to handle all public community management replies. They set the tone. Bach up one-on-one conversations with real service recovery behind-the-scenes.

Pro Tip: The public face responding should have a thick skin, cool head, warmth, and outstanding communication skills.

5) Turn Critics Into Raving Fans

Clients complain when expectations about an experience differ from reality. Use negative feedback to clarify and meet expectations going forward. Then blow those expectations out of the water with your stellar service recovery.

When you turn a critic into a raving fan who returns frequently, that special VIP bond lasts a lifetime. Their future referrals and reviews glow.

Pro Tip: Empower staff to delight clients by personalizing extra touches. Attention to detail wins big.

6) Kill With Kindness, Not Fire

Should tensions around a negative review escalate publicly, take the high road. Remain professional, empathetic, and solution-focused. Avoid heated social media exchanges.

Channeling grace under fire distinguishes truly customer-centric salons. Staying cool when emotions run hot earns respect.

Pro Tip: The 80/20 rule applies here too – 80% of people will perceive thoughtfulness and integrity in your actions.

Quick response to a negative review (Template) :

We’re really sorry to hear about your recent experience at our salon – this isn’t the standard we aim for. We’re taking your feedback to heart and looking into what happened.

We would like a chance to personally address this with you. Could you please reach out to us at [your email address] or [phone number]? We truly value your business and want to make things right. Thanks for your feedback, it really helps us improve.

Yes, negative feedback initially stings. But handled skillfully with care for both staff and clients’ concerns, it transforms into connection and fuel for salon growth.

Now you’re ready to turn those lemons into sweet lemonade!

Have your own tips? Share them below!

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