Nobody likes to receive a bad review.
A negative review can get you riled up, especially when it’s one you don’t agree with or one you think has been taken out of context. It can make you angry, upset and most importantly, have a negative impact on your company.
Responding to negative reviews is important to help build your employee and customer engagement, brand strategy and even has a positive impact on business partnerships. In fact, 65% of Glassdoor users agree their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you respond to negative reviews so you can do your best to avoid embarrassment and showcase the positives of your company and what you do best:
This is the first thing you should do when you read a negative review online about your company. I understand it can be hard to stay calm when you’re mad, upset and maybe even confused but the worst thing you can do is portray your anger online. You’ll only make the situation worse. Take a few hours to think about what you’re going to say - sleep on it if you have to. Keeping your emotions away will avoid any future embarrassment and convey your professionalism.
Don’t ignore it!
Despite how tempting it might be, don’t ignore your negative reviews. Not responding to bad reviews is another way of saying you don’t really care about your customers or what they have to say. You’re better to address the issue and do your best to resolve it even if it pains you. Also, the majority of angry customers want to be heard and thrive a response in order to solve or address their issue so it’s important you respond to them.
71% of consumers who experience a fast and effective response on social media are likely to recommend your brand to others, says Glassdoor.
Set up a standard bank of responses beforehand
To save time and ensure you stay calm and collected, it’s a good idea to set up a standard bank of responses to help you respond to negative reviews. Not all standard responses will suit every response but it’s a good starting point to respond to reviews and you can alter your response to cater your customer’s feedback if need be.
Be professional and articulate
Maintaining professionalism and using articulate language is important when responding to both positive and negative reviews. It can be tempting to lash your anger out at customer’s you don’t agree with but that takes me back to the first point in ensuring you stop and stay calm when you first read a negative review. Take time to think about what you have to say and be courteous and professional when you respond. You can lash out to your colleagues (if that helps) but don’t vocalise your negative comments online. A good tip is to get someone else to proofread your work. They can check for any typos you might have missed, and ensure what you’ve said is appropriate, well-written and competent.
Say “thank you”
It may seem absurd to say “thank you” to a customer who shares a negative review but it is important. Saying thank you will show that you care about your customers and what they have to say, and most importantly, you’re doing what you can to find a solution to their problem. Thanking your customer conveys maturity and maintains professionalism.
Address specific issues
Customers don’t want to be dismissed. Acknowledge the main issues or concerns the customer has raised. They don’t just want a generic response that doesn’t answer their question or resolve their main problem. Yeah, it doesn’t work for everybody, a standard response may be all you need but if you can, do your best to give as much detail as possible. This will show that even if you can’t rectify the problem, you’ve done what you can to clear the air.
If the situation is complexed or gets out of hand, you can take the issue offline and contact the customer personally. The customer may feel more at ease talking privately, and again, shows your level of professionalism and enthusiasm to get the problem solved.
Utilise reviews to find a solution
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, negative reviews can actually be a good thing for your business. They can build employee and customer engagement and improve your brand strategy.
A recent example of a company listening to their customers is video game company, Electronic Arts. EA have temporarily removed their micro-transactions in their Star Wars Battlefront II game after they faced a high number of complaints of their pay-to-win service.
"We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning," EA wrote in a blog post.
Just another quick note is to make sure you respond to positive reviews as well - both positive and negative reviews are important in creating effective customer advocacy! Also, no matter how big or small your company is, you should be asking your employees and customers for reviews - everyone needs them in ensuring they are running a successful business!
Are there any tips we’ve not covered? How has responding to negative reviews made an impact on your business? We’d love to know! Be sure to send us a tweet @wearegecko!