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Negative online reviews can have an impact on your business. The increased popularity of social media and review websites means they needed to be more aware than ever of what customers are saying about them online.
We all work hard to make our customers happy, so the idea someone is so upset with us that they chose to speak out to the world about it can be painful to deal with alone.
But it’s hard to please all customers all of the time. However, not only is negative feedback something you shouldn’t shy away from, but it may also even help your business.
First things first: bad reviews don’t mean that you’re bad
The first rule of dealing with this kind of negative opinion is not taking them personally because as your commercial endeavor grows, you’re going to see more and more of them. It’s inevitable.
If you have 100 reviews, and five of them are bad, and you let those five get to you, then how are you going to deal with 50 bad out of 1,000 or 500 bad ones out of 10,000?
In fact, a few bad reviews can actually be useful for your enterprise. For starters, they give you an opportunity to interact with your customers and collect valuable feedback that can help you improve your products or services.
Thus, negative reviews are better than no reviews.
They – especially negative ones – shape your prospective customer’s opinion about your product and brand.
Negative reviews build credibility for your store
Most online buyers are distrustful of products that receive perfect five-star reviews and over-the-top praise. In fact, more than two-thirds of customers trust online reviews far more when they see both positive and negative feedback.
Having them on your product pages tell potential customers your reviews section is honest and unbiased, and you value your customers and their opinions.
Besides that, keeping both good and bad customer feedback on your website establishes you as a credible and authentic vendor. As a result, it builds a positive brand image and boosts customer trust in your company.
The customer might just be having a bad day or just be a jerk!
We all have bad days.
And on those days, we’re far more likely to lash out at others.
The worst is that, in our bad days, we’ve probably all been that bad customer we hear stories about sometimes.
In any situation where you’re feeling attacked or offended, it’s helpful to take a step back and put yourself into your customer’s shoes (even if it is difficult to do at the time!).
However, some people—very, very few—are, quite frankly, jerks!!
There, I said it!
These are the customers who:
- Make personal attacks on people, not the problems. This can include attacks on your support team, your customers, or prospective customers.
- Are prone to non-constructive feedback, including excessive use of profanity.
- Have spiteful outbursts.
- Have sometimes nothing better to do with their lives and like to bring everyone down, so they can just feel some kind of happiness, I guess.
How to respond to negative reviews
When a lot of firms get negative reports, their first course of action is to try and get the review removed.
This is a terrible approach. As we saw before, a bad review isn’t a problem; it’s the result of a problem. The real issue is whatever happened between your customer and your business that created that outcome.
In order to have an efficient customer support – and I can’t stress this enough -, don’t focus on the result; focus on the problem. Besides, treat the upset customer with empathy, compassion, and a genuine commitment to making things right.
Here are some tips you might try and use in your answer:
- Acknowledge the feedback and thank the reviewer.
- Let the customer tell their entire story without interruption.
- Empathize by showing that you deeply understand how the customer feels.
- Apologize: as long as it’s sincere, you can’t apologize enough. You have no idea how far an apology can go.
- Resolve: fix the issue quickly, or make sure that your employees are empowered to do so.
- Diagnose: get to the bottom of why the mistake occurred without blaming anyone and focus on fixing the process to avoid happening again.
Follow up and ask for removal or edit
If you’ve apologized earnestly and corrected the issue, reach out to the customer to see if they will remove their review or if they updated with an issue fixed response. In most cases, they’ll remove it on their own.
But sometimes, you might want them to edit the review so that other customers see that you have good customer assistance, and care about helping and provide a trustworthy service.
Asking the customer to take down a negative report can also be a fantastic moment for a follow-up. By checking in with the customer, you’ll nudge them toward removing it from your site, and they’ll feel your interest in the matter.
Don’t ask people to take a review down if you see that your interaction with the person wasn’t the best or even if you could not resolve their issue. Use it as an opportunity to solve the problem itself to not deal with a situation like this again.
You can always ask them to update their opinion if the situation has been settled.
At the end of the day, people can be plain mean, even if you have the best intentions and the right circumstances to address an issue proactively. Note that not every angry person will have a change of heart.
Before responding, make sure you get all the facts straight. Know the situation inside and out, and be prepared to offer up ideas to remedy a quandary. Some people need to vent and let off steam, and you’re better off just taking it.
If there’s a problem with your company worth taking to heart, thank the customer for bringing it to your attention.
Remember: never remove negative reviews as they show your business is real and genuine. On the other hand, if it was fixed, but the customer refuses to edit or remove it, just reply under it what you did to correct it, so other people who might read it know that you tried to help the customer and were with went wrong.