Handle negative reviews from your customers
Customer reviews are one of the most important aspects of owning a business. Positive customer feedback can help bring in potential customers and expand your company. Negative reviews, however, can be tough to deal with. How are you supposed to handle negative criticism from your customers?
We offer a step-by-step guide on what you should do in the case of negative feedback, possibly even changing a negative review to positive.
Step 1: Maintain Composure and Approach the Situation Rationally
You cannot lose your cool when it comes to negative reviews. You must approach the situation with a cool head and a composed demeanor. Remove your emotions from the equation. It’s either very improbable or just impossible to satisfy every single customer. Therefore, a bad review doesn’t always correlate with bad service and business tendencies.
Step back, take a deep breath, and examine the situation from the customer’s perspective. Try to empathize with their review and figure out what prompted them to leave negative criticism.
Step 2: Reply Promptly
All criticism and reviews, negative reviews in particular, should be replied to quickly and courteously. It’s very tempting to delete and remove any negative feedback but doing so may affect your business’ credibility. Other potential customers might feel suspicious if your business page has only positive customer feedback, since most individuals believe that the reviews are managed by the business itself.
People also want to feel respected and listened to, and promptly responding to their reviews helps to show that respect. It can even surprise a customer and diffuse the situation entirely. You can use a review response template if you don’t want to manually come up with responses to every review.
Step 3: Be Courteous
It can be very tempting to respond to negative reviews by blaming the customer or creating excuses, but you need to remember that the internet is a public domain, and the entire world can see your response. It’s in your business’ best interest to be polite and considerate when you reply.
The first thing to do is to apologize for the customer’s less than positive experience and offer to resolve the dilemma quickly. This might include offering the customer certain incentives, gift cards, or discounts for bring the issue to light. Regardless, you also need to verify the review and ensure that the reviewer is a legitimate customer before offering incentives and making promises.
Step 4: Issue Resolution
If you made any promises to the customer, you need to deliver on those promises. Whether this includes gift cards or discounts or what have you, failing to follow up on those pledges can often lead to even worse reviews later.
Make sure to respond and act immediately if you want to avoid that kind of feedback. Examine the complaint, empathize with the customer, and figure out which aspect of the service or business needs to be revised.
Was the customer unsatisfied with the final product? Or did they have an issue with the customer service? How can I adjust my business to avoid situations like this in the future? These are the important questions you should ask yourself before trying to improve your business.
Step 5: Feedback Tracking
Trying to resolve a single issue can be a taxing feat in itself, but if you’re interested in reducing the overall amount of negative reviews, it’s important to track all customer feedback. Make sure to stay updated on your business’ reputation, the things customers are saying about your company, and any possible complaints they might have. There are tools curated for just this purpose.
A compilation of all of your reviews also allows you to recognize potential patterns and problem areas in your business. Should a pattern arise, then you know your business has a persistent problem that requires prompt solving. You should focus your attention towards resolving the issue immediately.
Step 6: More Feedback
Maintaining a 4 star or higher rating is a numbers game. A recent study suggested that most reviews are now centered around the positive nuances of certain products and excellent customer service. You can achieve a higher rating using this trend by just increasing the number of reviews.
Reaching out and asking customers via email, text, or mail to leave a review not only encourages them to give your business some feedback, but also shows them that you remember them and care about what they have to say.
Step 7: Following Up
Apart from improving your business, the most important and crucial aspect of handling negative feedback is to follow up with the reviewer. Following up shows the customer that you care about their review, that you listened and are planning to take appropriate action. You can even request an updated review after making the revisions. Many customers would happily alter their review if you put the effort into solving the issues they had with your service.
Responding to negative criticism helps your rating and is exemplative of the service and care you wish to provide to your customers.