Handling Negative Reviews
Every business, no matter how great, is going to get some negative reviews. While these reviews probably will not make or break you, how you handle the reviews can. Reading negative reviews can feel like a personal attack, but they are almost always coming from a place of frustration from a customer who feels confused or let down by their expectations. Here are some tips to help you handle negative reviews with class, so everyone is satisfied.
Do Not Ignore The Review:
Ignoring the negative review gives off the impression that you do not care about the unsatisfied customer. Keep track of your reviews and promptly respond to them as best you can. While you do not want to be hasty in responding and make the situation even worse, a prompt response shows that you are serious about resolving the issue. Responding to positive reviews is also a good habit to keep, but make the negative reviews a priority. Additionally, never remove a negative review, as it makes you look as though you have something to hide.
Determine Why The Customer Is Not Satisfied:
Why is the customer upset or unsatisfied? Is your product or business a bad fit? Was there something wrong with the product or service they received? Carefully read their review to see what it is that made them upset enough to take time to write a review. Make suggestions as to how your product can help better serve their needs by giving them a more detailed explanation of how to use it, or suggest a different product that might suit them better. If the issue they are describing does not sound like something you offer a solution to, let them know about an alternative solution. Even if you refer them to another company that you think would be a good fit and lose a sale, you will gain respect and loyalty.
Avoid apologizing for the product failing, as that might put unnecessary blame on your business. You can, however, apologize that the customer is not satisfied, or that there was a misunderstanding. Carefully phrase your apology so that the customer knows that you are genuinely sorry that they did not like your product, without placing blame on yourself. Offer an explanation to why something might have gone wrong, and offer to fix it. If it turns out the product was defective, you then should apologize and offer a replacement or refund. If you can tastefully do so, using humor in your apology can help lighten the mood. Use caution so as not to further offend anyone who is already upset.
When responding to customers, use their name and address the problem that they had directly. Publicly address that customer satisfaction is a priority for you, and then take the conversation to a private channel. By responding to customers in both a public and personal way initially, other customers who are reading the reviews will see that you do care about your customer’s satisfaction and are taking the reviews to heart. Using a copy-and-paste script makes you seem unauthentic and unaware.
Monitor Your Online Presence:
Some reviews are posted as a response to a question someone else online might have asked, or on a social website. Use websites such as Mention to keep tabs on when and where your name is being discussed. Check your notifications frequently as well to see if customers have tried to contact you via social media. Some customers are not as familiar with certain platforms, and may voice a complaint somewhere that is not intended for reviews.
No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to please everyone all of the time. Customers have misunderstandings, and employees make mistakes. The most important thing is to try to turn positives out of negatives. Treat your customers with respect, even when they are upset and talking badly about your company. Negative reviews can be a great place to find ways that you can make improvements, so pay attention to what every customer has to say.