Emotional Intelligence Advantage: Crafting Review Responses That Wow Customers

Emotional Intelligence Advantage: Crafting Review Responses That Wow Customers

June 9, 2024
Chris Risse
Estimated Reading Time : 23 minutes
Picture this: you’re sipping your morning coffee, scrolling through your Google Business Profile, when suddenly a one-star review catches your eye. Your heart sinks, and you can feel the frustration bubbling up inside. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. But here’s the thing: how you handle that review can make or break your customer relationships and your online reputation.
That’s where emotional intelligence (EI) comes in. By understanding and managing emotions effectively, you can transform even the toughest reviews into opportunities for growth, customer satisfaction, and business success. Buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the world of emotionally intelligent review responses!

Why Emotional Intelligence Matters In Handling Reviews

First things first, let’s talk about why emotional intelligence is such a big deal when it comes to handling reviews. When a review pops up, whether it’s a glowing five-star or a scathing one-star, it’s natural to feel a surge of emotions. You might feel proud, excited, frustrated, or even downright confused.
But here’s the thing: those initial emotional reactions can cloud your judgment and lead to hasty, unprofessional responses that can damage your customer relationships and your reputation. That’s where emotional intelligence comes in. By recognizing and managing your own emotions, as well as understanding and empathizing with your customers’ feelings, you can craft responses that turn negative experiences into positive ones.

Practical Tips For Applying Emotional Intelligence In Your Responses

Okay, so you know emotional intelligence is important. But how do you actually put it into practice when you’re staring at a screen full of reviews? Here are some strategies to try:

Check in with yourself

Before you even think about typing out a response, take a moment to acknowledge your own emotions. Are you feeling defensive? Excited? Overwhelmed? Recognizing your reactions is the first step to managing them professionally. Take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself that this is an opportunity to showcase your business’s values and commitment to customer service.

Take a breather

When a negative review comes in, it’s tempting to fire off a hasty reply in the heat of the moment. But resist that urge! Instead, give yourself some time to cool off and collect your thoughts. Go for a walk, chat with a colleague, or sleep on it if you need to. The goal is to craft a response that aligns with your business values and addresses the customer’s concerns thoughtfully, not to engage in a back-and-forth battle.

Remove your emotions from the equation

Whether you are a business of one or a business of many, realize that the review is for the business, not yourself or team members. You need to put your own emotions aside to be the professional you claim to be. Understanding this can help you clear your head for the next steps.

Put yourself in their shoes

This is where empathy comes in. Try to see the situation from the customer’s perspective. What are they feeling? What were their expectations? What could have gone better? By stepping into their shoes, you can respond in a way that acknowledges their experience and shows that you value their feedback.

Personalize it for the customer

Nobody likes a generic, copy-and-paste response. Show your customers that you value their individual feedback by providing a personalized reply. Use their name, acknowledge their specific concerns, and outline the steps you’re taking to address them. A little extra care and attention can go a long way in turning a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one.

Find the silver lining

Even the most scathing reviews can contain valuable insights for your business. Look for constructive feedback or opportunities for improvement amidst the criticism. Acknowledging these areas and committing to addressing them shows customers that you’re always striving to do better.

emotional intelligence for customer reviews
Emotional Intelligence is like being the calm within the storm. You can't control the storm, but your actions can help you and everyone else ride it out.

Real-Life Examples: Emotional Intelligence In Action

Let's take a look at emotional intelligence in action. Here are several examples of where a customer has given less-than-satisfactory feedback that has caused grief for the small business, but emotional intelligence was used to improve the situation:

Example 1: Restaurant Slow Service Complaint

A restaurant manager receives a lengthy complaint about slow service and cold food during a busy Friday night shift. The manager's first instinct might be to get defensive or blame the kitchen staff.
However, they choose to approach the situation with emotional intelligence. They take a deep breath and respond to the customer with empathy. In their reply, the manager:
  • Acknowledges the customer's frustration and apologizes sincerely for the subpar experience.
  • Explains the steps they're taking to ensure it doesn't happen again, such as hiring additional staff and implementing new quality control measures in the kitchen.
  • Offers a gesture of goodwill, like a discount or a complimentary meal, to encourage the customer to give the restaurant another chance.
By responding in this manner, the manager demonstrates that they value the customer's feedback and are committed to making things right. Even if that particular customer doesn't return, others who see the thoughtful response will be impressed by the restaurant's dedication to customer satisfaction.

Example 2: Boutique Rude Sales Associate Review

A boutique owner receives a review complaining about a rude sales associate. Instead of reacting with anger towards the employee, the owner takes a moment to consider the situation from all angles. They use their emotional intelligence skills to:
  • Reach out to the customer, apologize for their negative experience, and gather more information about the incident.
  • Check in with the sales associate to understand their side of the story, listening with empathy and an open mind.
Through this process, the owner discovers that the associate was going through a tough personal situation that affected their behavior at work. With this context in mind, the owner:
  • Expresses understanding and support for the associate, while also reinforcing the importance of maintaining professionalism.
  • Works with the associate to develop strategies for better managing stress and emotional challenges while on the job.
  • Follows up with the customer to explain the steps taken and offers a special discount to encourage them to give the boutique another try.
By approaching the situation with emotional intelligence, the boutique owner is able to find a resolution that addresses the customer's concerns, supports the staff member's growth, and reflects positively on the business as a whole.

Example 3: Landscaping Service Scheduling Mishap

A landscaping company owner receives a scathing review from a customer who claims that the crew never showed up for a scheduled appointment, causing them to waste a day waiting around. The owner's immediate reaction is a mix of confusion and frustration, as they pride themselves on reliability.
Instead of firing off a defensive response or dismissing the complaint, the owner takes a step back and approaches the situation with emotional intelligence. They:
  • Reach out to the customer directly, expressing sincere apologies for the missed appointment and any inconvenience caused.
  • Ask for more details about the scheduled service and promise to investigate the situation thoroughly.
Upon looking into the matter, the owner realizes that a new scheduling system had a glitch, causing some appointments to fall through the cracks. With this information, the owner:
  • Contacts the customer again to explain the situation and take full responsibility for the error.
  • Offers to reschedule the service at the customer's earliest convenience and provides a substantial discount for the trouble.
  • Assures the customer that the scheduling system issue has been resolved and that additional safeguards have been put in place to prevent future mishaps.
The owner then takes the extra step of:
  • Following up with the customer after the rescheduled service to ensure their satisfaction and thank them for their understanding.
  • Sharing the incident with their team as a learning opportunity, emphasizing the importance of double-checking appointments and communicating proactively with customers.
By responding to the negative review with empathy, accountability, and a solution-focused approach, the landscaping company owner demonstrates their commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. This emotionally intelligent approach not only salvages the relationship with the individual customer but also showcases the company's integrity and reliability to potential clients reading the review.
In all of the examples, approaching the situation with emotional intelligence allowed for a resolution that satisfied the customer, supported the staff, and reflected well on the business. That’s the power of EI in action!

Building On What We Know

Now, if you’re a savvy business owner, you might be thinking, “Wait a minute, didn’t Mediaryte already cover handling negative reviews?” You’re absolutely right! I've written many articles on the subject. The other articles lay out some fantastic foundational strategies, like staying calm, communicating persistently, and knowing when to take conversations offline.
This article focuses on the emotional intelligence approach to build on those strategies by diving deeper into the psychological and interpersonal aspects of crafting effective responses. It’s about recognizing the emotions at play on both sides of the screen and using that awareness to create more empathetic, constructive interactions.
Think of it like building a house. The previous articles lay the foundation – the concrete strategies for mitigating damage and resolving conflicts. This emotional intelligence approach is like adding the walls and roof – the more advanced techniques that enhance and strengthen your review response game.
By combining these foundational strategies with emotionally intelligent practices, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any review that comes your way, while also continuously improving your customer relationships and reputation. At the same time, emotional intelligence will help you understand your own feelings in the moment, how to react, and how to avoid further conflict.

Mastering Emotional Intelligence For Business Success

We’ve covered a lot of ground here, from the importance of emotional intelligence in review responses to practical tips and real-life examples. But let’s zoom out for a moment and consider the bigger picture.
Mastering emotional intelligence in your review responses isn’t just about putting out fires or appeasing angry customers. It’s a game-changer for your overall business success.
By consistently approaching reviews with empathy, professionalism, and a growth mindset, you’re not just managing your reputation – you’re actively shaping it.
Think about it: every review, whether positive, negative, or neutral, is an opportunity. It’s a chance to showcase your business’s values, commitment to customer satisfaction, and willingness to learn and improve. By handling these interactions with emotional intelligence, you’re sending a powerful message to current and potential customers alike.
You’re showing that you value your customers' opinions, that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make things right, and that you’re always striving to be better. That kind of reputation is priceless in today’s competitive business landscape. Better yet, it is authentic.
But it’s not just about external perceptions. Practicing emotional intelligence in your review responses can also have a profound impact on your internal operations and team dynamics. By modeling empathy, active listening, and constructive problem-solving, you set the tone for your entire organization. You create a culture where feedback is valued, where mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth, and where customer satisfaction is everyone’s top priority.
And when your team sees you handling even the toughest reviews with grace and professionalism, they’ll be inspired to do the same in their own customer interactions. It’s a ripple effect that can transform your entire business from the inside out.
So, if you take away one thing from this article, let it be this: mastering emotional intelligence in your review responses is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your business. It’s not always easy, and it takes practice, but the payoff – in terms of customer loyalty, employee engagement, and overall success – is immeasurable.

Putting Emotional Intelligence Into Practice

Phew, that was a lot! But don’t worry – you’ve got this. Just remember: emotional intelligence is your secret weapon when it comes to handling reviews on your Google Business Profile. By checking in with yourself, taking a breather, putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, making it personal, and finding the silver lining, you can transform even the trickiest interactions into opportunities for growth and success.
So the next time a review rolls in, whether it’s a rave or a rant, take a deep breath, channel your inner emotional intellengce superhero, and get ready to craft a response that’ll knock your customers’ socks off. Your business (and your stress levels) will thank you!
And if you ever need a little extra guidance or inspiration, just refer back to this article or check out some of Mediaryte’s other fantastic resources. With a little practice and a lot of heart, you’ll be an emotional intelligence master in no time.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go respond to a review from my dog about his dinner being late. Wish me luck!

About The Author

Chris Risse
Chris Risse
Chris is the owner of Mediaryte, a digital commerce company working with local small businesses. He has worked with countless business owners on business mastery, systematizing processes, and quantifying results. Chris also is a competitive fat bike racer and has a fantastic sixth sense for detecting well hidden candy and treats.