Your business can be absolutely great however there will always be some negative or bad reviews. I call them – opportunity reviews since it give you a chance to make things right and improve your service or innovate your product or brand.
Here are some opportunities / tips on how to handle negative reviews.
Directly Address the Issue
Do not mess around with general excuses. Address it as directly and specifically as possible. This shows that you care.
First move is always tempting to defend your business or recount the details of the customer’s behaviour during the experience in question.
You must excel to resolve and attempt to win back the customer when debating online. Keep your answer courteous, polite and professional.
Acknowledge receipt of their negative reviews immediately and say that you are working on a solution or investigating the issue/s.
The longer the customer waits for an answer or response – the more they will get upset, feel ignored and continue to escalate it.
You may be right in defending your business at all costs but is not a good strategy.
Take a step back and endeavour to see the situation from the customers’ point of view and stay cool off before responding.
Ensure your response is clear and personal so this shows that you actually care rather than a standard response which can be infuriate and make the commenter or reviewer feel ignored.
Show empathy for the other persons situation – whatever the case maybe – you would be frustrated too if you waiting on hold for two hours, got the wrong order, found an error with a consultant’s report or fill in the blank.
You can empathise without admitting fault so the other person feels heard.
Always offer a public response in the same channel as it was raised. This will show other customers that you care and are responsive.
Your aim is to win the reviewer over but if you cannot win over the reviewer- then your customers will see the review and observe how you handled it.
Always offer to call the reviewer or ask the reviewer to call you or suggest they pop in to talk to a customer service specialist – if that is possible.
You do not want endless conversation going back and forth adding to the drama. Real people having a real conversation can resolve issues or problems.
By publicly offering to connect with the reviewer – you will convey that you are interested in hearing about their experience and making yourself available to them. If they choose not to engage further with you then it is on them to do so.
Be prepared to deploy ready made templates.
Reality is that – you cannot please everyone but you must try.
There will be some reviews that will need investigating and some will not.
Choose from three responses and customise them as necessary:
- Thank you for letting us know about your experience. We will look into it.
- Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your visit. We strive to satisfy our customers’ expectation. Please call us or come in to speak with a specialist so we can learn more.
- Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. Sometimes criticism of our services is difficult to hear but it often leads to positive change. We appreciate your willingness to give us that opportunity to improve.
When you have attempted to reach out to the reviewer to resolve the issue and they continue to criticise you online – Do not engage further. Going head to head in the virtual world with a reviewer whose intentions are sinister – like making you look bad is NEVER a good idea.
You will be defensive, immature and easily provoked even if none of those characterisations are accurate. Totally disengage. Apologise and leave it.
Some sites can be updated after the initial review. So after having a negative review – you made it right – consider asking the person to update their review if you are able to turn things around.
Studies actually show that perfect ratings seem unrealistic as 82% of consumers actually look for less than excellent feedback.
The best defence is a good offense and having positive reviews is the best way to defend against negative ones. Do not panic if you receive a negative review – it is called an opportunity review – to make things right.
Have an active positive review strategy and follow these tips to combat the negative reviews if they happen.
Hope you are enjoying and learning a lot of information about:-
How To Deal With Negative Reviews.