Responding to Negative Reviews Online

Your website and social media page's are shining representations of your business. Accordingly, negative reviews can take a toll on your reputation online and offline, whether those reviews are unfairly given or well-deserved.

As a business owner, you know well that your reputation can make or break your success. 91% of customers trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. It can be upsetting and disheartening to receive a negative review, but you should never respond to a bad review with fire. So if you see a negative review about your business, take a deep breath and keep calm. The best way to address it is to be diplomatic.

Need some tips on how to diffuse the situation? Here's our top tips on how to address an unhappy customer and how you can even turn the situation into an opportunity:

1/ Achnowledge the Negative Review

A negative review, can sting. But your customer has taken the time to provide feedback, so it is important to acknowledge the feedback. Negative feedback is an excellent way to identify bottlenecks in your business and can help you and your employees to improve your offerings. Furthermore, acknowledging your dissatisfied customers and thanking them for feedback is an opportunity to let your customers know your open to two-way communication and that you value your customers. This may lead you to changing a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one. 

2/ Apologise 

Apologise, even if you do not think you are in the wrong. An apology shows that your empathetic to their situation. A simple “We’re sorry to hear about your experience...” can go a long way. Whether the customer is right or wrong, the fact that you apologise shows that you care and value the customer's business. 

3/ Make it Right

Make it right. Your dissatisfied customer has taken the effort to let you know how they feel so why not go the extra mile to address their primary concern? 96% of dissatisfied customer won't complain to you but they will tell 15 of their friends. Show your customers that you're dedicated to providing them with a solution. This will help prevent negative word of mouth and might fix the issue. Use this opportunity to turn a dissatisfied customer into an advocate. 

4/ Move the Situation Offline

In some cases, trying to solve issue online can do more harm than good. So aim to turn the online contact into a personalised encounter. It can be in person, over the phone or in a direct chat but bear in mind that you have to genuinely try to resolve the customer’s concern and allow both parties to come up with a win-win resolution.

5/ Keep it Short but Sweet

When dealing with negative reviews, apply the concept of ‘less is more’.  There is no need for you to defend every point and prove your case no matter how unfair the review is. Avoid sounding patronising to your customer as it takes away your sincerity. Keep your responses simple, factual and authentic.

Customers remember the companies that pay attention to them. Anytime you see a negative review, keep in mind the above tips to help you sail through what can be an unpleasant situation. As inevitable as negative reviews are, they are also great opportunities to improve your customer service and business, look at your processes and find ways to keep bad reviews to a minimum. Remember that ignoring negative reviews is a form of connecting and learning from your customers. It's an opportunity to stop them leaving your business to never return. 

Have your tried to above and you're still getting negative reviews? If you've tried everything to improve your online customer experience without success, let us help!

Contact Elephant in the Boardroom for a complimentary chat and keep your customers happy. 

Email: [email protected]

Visit us at: 555 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Call: P: (03) 7018 7620 or M: 0418 967 352

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