Receiving a notification for a negative review can be a frightening thing for a business. Living in the world of online media has given consumers constant access to a keyboard at the tip of their fingers. Online media has opened up two-way communication directly between the consumer and the business allowing for the consumer to go online and say whatever they want, whenever they want, for everyone else to see! It sounds scary, but with the right approach, you can easily turn your bad reviews into opportunities to attract loyal customers.

Whether you receive a negative review online through social media or a product review on your website, it’s equally important to address the review as quickly as you can. From the moment a customer leaves a review, you are left with a crucial window of time to put together a response. By making the customer a priority and by responding, you’ve publically taken responsibility for their negative experience, and you’ve also created a great opportunity to showcase transparency for the rest of your audience.

When it comes to crafting a response for your negative review, it’s important to keep these four things in mind:

  1. Resist taking the complaint personally. It’s important to avoid confrontation and make any excuses. Instead, be polite and caring – it will go a long way with your audience.
  2. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and recognize how they’re feeling in this upsetting situation. Showing empathy and letting your customer know you value their thoughts and feedback will demonstrate to your customer just how seriously you are taking their complaint.
  3. An apology is the foundation for crafting a successful response. Focus on apologizing for the situation itself or for the portion of the situation related to your business, and then focus on how the situation made the customer feel. Aim to look for opportunities to make the situation right and to show you care about your customers. Remember, any interaction with your audience is an opportunity to impress and delight – even when it comes to negative reviews! Other customers or potential clients will assess your business based on how you reply to the customer posting something negative.
  4. Identify the source of the problem and offer a solution. If a product is defective, offer to replace it. If there’s an issue with a customer placing an order online, offer a discount code to use towards their next purchase. If someone isn’t satisfied with a product, stand behind your product and offer a full refund.

Your customers usually aren’t leaving negative reviews because they have nothing better to do with their time. Writing a negative review takes a lot of effort, and if someone has gone out of their way to write one for your business, it usually means they have been upset by a bad experience and are now looking to you for a solution. As a business owner, you’re ultimately responsible for every negative and positive experience your customers have. Remember, as tempting as it is to ignore or delete negative comments or reviews, it’s always best to get ahead of the situation and deal with it. By accepting responsibility and taking action to fix the situation, you can build a glowing online reputation for your business and keep your customers coming back again and again.

Now do you feel ready to tackle potential negative comments in the future? We hope so!

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