How to Bounce Back from a Negative Review

Here are five ways to convert unhappy customers into loyal clients who will keep your barber chair full.
Obi Omile, Jr.
CEO and Co-Founder of theCut. Lover of basketball and being by large bodies of water.

You got your first bad review! Cue the sad horns. It's inevitable but it feels terrible. Don't let it knock your confidence or reputation as a barber. Negative feedback doesn't have to be a complete negative experience. It’s a fresh opportunity to improve and showcase your commitment to quality service. Here are five easy ways to convert unhappy customers into loyal clients who will keep your barber chair full: 


If you're lucky enough to get your negative review on the spot or in person, talk to your customer about it. A polite, face-to-face interaction is your chance to demonstrate your dedication to your clients. This can benefit you by showing them you care about how they feel about your service and business. It allows you to address their concerns head-on and actively resolve them before they leave a review on your profile. Once it’s on the profile, you can reach out directly using theCut, and message the client. Send a personal note apologizing for their less-than-stellar experience and asking for details. This can soften their disappointment and might even prompt them to update their review after. ‍ 


When you talk to the client — through your app or in person — really listen. Let them express their feelings without interruption. Sometimes, clients just want to be heard. Show empathy and understand their concerns. This not only calms the situation but also helps you gather specific insights on what to improve. ‍See point number 4, below.


Consider what you can do to salvage your client's bad experience. What can you do to get them to come back to your chair. A great way to win back their favor is by offering something in return for their inconvenience: a discount on their next visit, a free beard trim, or an exclusive grooming product. These gestures show that you value their business and are willing to make amends. ‍ 

Related Article: How To Create Exceptional Barbering Experiences: A Client's Perspective


Use the criticism constructively and directly address your client's complaints. Don't get offended. Was the wait time too long? Consider giving your clients a heads-up about wait times or focus on cutting faster without sacrificing quality. If a client didn't like something about the haircut, see how you can fix their complaint. Maybe it’s time to refresh your skills or introduce new styles. There is also the possibility you didn't do anything wrong and your client just couldn't be satisfied. Shrug it off and don't take it personal. We've all had bad days. Put yourself in your clients' shoes and don't take it personal. Sometimes, you simply can't please everyone. No one has ever gone undefeated. Treat them with the same level of care, quality and service you would your number one client. Adjusting your approach can prevent future negative reviews and improve overall client satisfaction. This approach will help also help you as you encounter more diverse clientele along your barbering journey. 


Don’t be shy about asking your happiest and/or most satisfied clients to leave positive reviews. You can automate this process when using theCut, sending a friendly reminder after each appointment. You can also send a Client Blast to encourage more reviews by rewarding reviewers with discounts or promotions. Positive reviews reduce the impact of a negative one but also attract new customers.  


Every negative review helps you learn how to become a better barber. By responding thoughtfully, making amends, and continually seeking to enhance your quality of service, you’ll ensure that your barber shop remains a cut above the rest. Embrace every review, good or bad, as a stepping stone to excellence!