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How to Deal With Bad Reviews for Your Swim School | MarketBox

How to Deal With Bad Reviews for Your Swim School

One bad review has more impact than multiple positive reviews, so knowing how to deal with customer complaints is crucial. Negative reviews can result in lost revenue, damage your swim school’s reputation, lower your Google Business Profile ranking, and send potential customers to your competition instead. 

Improving your swim school’s customer service and providing high-quality lessons will improve the customer experience and help you avoid negative reviews. But if a customer does complain, here are five steps to take. 

#1. Respond to the customer promptly (but not the review)  

You need to act quickly when your swim school receives a negative review. If a customer has left you a public review on Google, Facebook, etc., resist the urge to respond to the review right away. Instead, contact the customer privately to learn more about their experience and address the issue. 

Don’t respond to public reviews until after a resolution has been reached. In the best-case scenario, the customer takes down the bad review. But if they don’t, you can respond to the review outlining the resolution and let anyone reading the review know that the customer was satisfied with the outcome and that you’ve taken steps to stop this from happening again. 

Whether the customer complaint is public or sent via email/social media, you should aim to respond to all customers within 24 hours, but ideally as soon as possible.  

Public negative review response template

Hi [customer name] 

Once again, I would like to apologize for [outline of the issue]. I’m glad we could discuss this [over the phone/in-person/via email] and resolve this issue. As I mentioned, we’ve [outline of steps taken] to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and helping us to improve our customer experience.

We look forward to welcoming you back to [business name] again soon. 

Many thanks, 

[person of authority, e.g., owner, operations manager, etc.] 

#2. Acknowledge the issue and apologize 

If a customer leaves a negative review of your swim school, it’s because they’re unhappy with their experience and want you to do something about it. One of the most important things you can do is listen to the customer and take responsibility for the issue. 

Don’t try and make excuses; at the end of the day, the customer doesn’t care why it happened, just that it did and that it happened to them. Express empathy and show the customer that you understand their point of view before presenting possible options to reach an amicable solution. 

If you need more information on the customer’s experience and what caused them to leave a bad review, ask open-ended questions to learn more, such as 

  • Could you expand on that further, please? 
  • I’m not sure I fully understand what you mean by that. Could you give me more details, please? 

Just make sure to watch your tone — especially if you’re communicating over email — so the customer doesn’t think you’re being rude when you’re just trying to understand their issue!

#3. Address the issue (and its root causes) 

Once you have the information you need to better understand why the customer left a negative review of your swim school, you can take steps to address the issue. 

Unfortunately, some customers just love to complain, so you might end up with bad reviews about something you can’t do anything about. However, if it’s a legitimate issue, you need to address the root cause to stop it from happening again. 

If you’re speaking with a customer and aren’t sure in the moment what needs to happen behind the scenes, apologize and tell them you’ll take some time to investigate their issue and decide on the best course of action. In the meantime, offer up a resolution to smooth things over. 

Possible resolutions to customer complaints about your swim schools are 

  1. Issue a full or partial refund, depending on the severity of the issue 
  2. Offer a discount on a future service 
  3. Give the customer a free swim lesson for another opportunity to win them over 
  4. Upgrade/add on an extra to their next booking 

#4. Follow up with the customer 

After resolving the issue, follow up with the customer to ensure they’re satisfied with the outcome. If you haven’t already done so, this is the perfect time to inform the customer of the changes you made since receiving their feedback. 

Following up with the customer shows that your care about their experience and are committed to providing excellent customer service. A simple email or phone call might even be enough to convince them to give your swim school another chance. 

#5. Learn from the experience

Every customer review, good or bad, is an opportunity to monitor and improve your swim school’s customer service. Use the feedback to highlight areas of improvement and take steps to address underlying issues, and put policies and practices in place to prevent the same problem from happening again. 

Bonus tip: Always keep it professional

Receiving a bad review from your swim school is never a pleasant experience, and it can be easy to become defensive of your business and your employees. But, even if the customer is being rude or unreasonable, it’s essential to remain polite and professional at all times. 

Always wait until you’ve hung up the phone or sent the email to vent, and if it helps, take a five-minute breather before responding to negative reviews to avoid saying something you can’t take back in the heat of the moment! 

If you’re looking to improve your mobile swim school’s customer experience, book a demo to learn more about MarketBox, the only all-in-one mobile appointment management software that lets customers choose the time, location, and instructor and receive instant confirmations anytime, anywhere.

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