No company wants to read negative reviews about their products or services, particularly when they land on the internet where they can tarnish your reputation and negatively impact your business. While words definitely hurt, how you react to negative reviews can actually improve your company’s reputation. Here is our list of best practices for responding to negative online reviews.
1 – Don’t Ignore Negative Online Reviews
Whether you agree with it or not, negative online reviews can damage your business reputation and prevent future customers from considering your product or service. You want readers to know that you care what customers think and take their opinions seriously.
2 – Pause and Assess the Issue
Do not respond to a negative review before assessing it. Take time to collect your thoughts before crafting your response. Ask yourself questions. What will make the customer happy? How can you reassure future customers that they will not have the same issue? How can you resolve the issue? By evaluating the situation first, you can respond with a calm, level head.
3 – Respond Quickly and Publicly
When a negative review is posted about your company, try to respond within 24 hours, if possible. You also want to reply on the platform where the review was posted so consumers can see how you handled the situation, if you can and if it’s appropriate. The more gracefully you recover from a misstep, the better it will reflect on your company. Remember that the people reading negative online reviews are your potential customers and they need to trust you.
4 – Be Polite and Recognize Your Mistake
Negative online reviews may make you want to reply in a defensive tone, but you definitely want to avoid this. Be sure to thank the customer for their feedback and give them the opportunity to contact you by saying something like, “Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry that our product did not meet your expectations. Please contact me at your earliest convenience so we can speak directly about your experience.” Most review readers are potential customers who will believe the consumer review and move on.
5 – Fix the Problem
If your customer is dissatisfied with your product or service, offer to replace it or upgrade it. You want do whatever it takes to make them happy. Often, a customer will edit their negative review on their own once they see that your business cares. Your ultimate goal is customer satisfaction.
6 – Take the Issue Offline
Depending on the problem, rather than responding to a negative review by posting a public comment, it may be better to reach out via email or telephone. Yelp, for example, gives businesses the option to contact customers through email. Once you resolve an issue, then you can post a comment to the page noting how you addressed the issue. Or post your email address or phone number so the customer can reach you and you can address the issue beyond the public eye.
7 – Use the Information
If you determine that a negative online review has merit, the best thing to do is take proactive steps to improve your product or service. Use the information to prevent another customer from having the same experience in the future.
Keep in mind that no matter how bad negative online reviews sounds, you can almost always redeem your business. If the customer has taken the time to give feedback, they are giving you a chance to consider and address it. No business should ever expect only positive reviews, and if you address them and use them the right way, you can build client trust.
RepUvue’s online tools allow you to monitor all online reviews so you can address negative online reviews quickly and recover customer confidence. The first step is knowing what customers are saying and where they are saying it as soon as it is posted.
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