The best way to respond to negative reviews

Small business negative reviews
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Negative reviews

Negative reviews are an inevitable part of your company, and studies have suggested they may have a significant effect on your ranking in search.

In fact, 84% of customers trust an internet review as much as they would a personal referral. But not all reviews are favorable. At some stage throughout the history of your organization, you’re likely to encounter negative reviews.

Fortunately, this does not always have to be a terrible thing — negative testimonials can work in your favor for a business opportunity if you know how to respond. Read below to find out the very best strategies to respond to negative online reviews.

1. Stay positive

Anyone who has ever worked in customer service knows how hard it can be if a client is attacking you. A negative review may get you get angry, and as a human being your first instinct would be to go on the defense, but it doesn’t mean that you should become a keyboard warrior and attack the reviewer (unless you are Wendy’s, obviously, who recently spouted off Twitter battles with McDonald’s and customers alike). Unless you are a multimillion-dollar fast food business, we do not advise getting snarky.

Deal with all negative reviews with a calm, positive attitude. Allow the customer know you have heard their concerns, but not point fingers. Even if you’re not in the wrong, you should not make the consumer feel like the victim.

Additionally, it does not do you any good to just ignore the review. The general public would like you to react than simply ignore the situation. Responding with a true comeback will demonstrate that your company cares about its clients.

2. Offer a solution

Have you ever heard the term, “Sorry would not cut it”? This is true when you are reacting to negative comments or testimonials. Just offering an apology to your client will not do — a client will want a solution for their problem. When you are reacting to a negative comment or review, allow the customer know how you are going to resolve the issue.

Below is an example of an excellent response that provides a solution. A JetBlue client tweeted that their in-flight TV wasn’t working. JetBlue immediately responded

The response indicates that JetBlue is empathetic towards their client’s concerns. They then follow up with a direct answer.

It is safe to say that this customer appreciated the time that this firm took to fix their problem promptly. They immediately redeemed themselves and revealed their
client’s happiness is their priority.

3. Reiterate your company’s policies

You may fear that a negative review will make your organization look bad. This is simply the case should you dismiss the review entirely. When you react to a negative remark, reverse the negative to a positive. Use this as an opportunity to reiterate your organization’s good qualities.

As an instance, you can respond by stating, “We are sorry you had a bad experience. We have been doing business for many years, and the majority of our customers leave happy. We are sorry we did not meet your expectations this time around.”

4. Take the conversation offline

When you get a negative review on the internet, you always need to respond immediately to the same platform. This not only satisfies the original poster, but it is also a public location that all of your potential clients will see.

But some things can not be addressed online. Issues involving a customer’s personal information, as an instance, should be discussed in person or over the telephone. When addressing these kinds of negative reviews, provide a direct contact to your clients.

Taking the conversation offline indicates your company will go the extra mile to resolve any customer complaints or problems. But you should only use this method for acute cases.

Does your firm have a customer support line? This may also be an outstanding way to integrate an offline conversation. In your response, give the customer the line to your customer support department to solve any problems that can not be taken care of online.

5. Approach the client as a real person

We have all experienced the nightmare that’s automatic bots. Calling to a customer support line and hearing a robot on the other end is one of the most annoying situation a client can go through. Consider this when you are responding to your clients. Leave out all of the industry jargon, and talk to them as though they’re a real person — since they’re!

If you use plain language and talk to the client as a human being, you will sound more genuine. Odds are, your clients will see you as a human too, and not only as a small business.

Google has also taken steps to make certain that you, the company owner, is not dealing with automated customer testimonials. This remedy is called verified customer testimonials, and I have previously written about ways which you can use the attribute to come out on top.

6. Request an update

If you have reacted to the customer’s concern and solved the issue, don’t be afraid to ask for an updated review. Often clients will take this upon themselves and either delete or upgrade their negative review.

Many review sites, like Yelp, will demonstrate that this is an updated overview. When you’ve solved the issue, always ask them if they will update the review online.

Having trouble thinking of a wonderful way to ask? Once you’ve followed up with the client, ask them something like, “We value your feedback, and want other clients to understand how we have solved your issue. Would you mind updating your review to reflect this?”

Always be sure that you thank them for their opinions, regardless if they upgrade the inspection or not.

The takeaway

As soon as you find a negative review, your heart immediately sinks. But no matter how helpful your company is, you are not going to make everyone happy. A few negative reviews will not be the end of your business.

Use these reviews as an opportunity to showcase your company’s and outstanding customer support. Why not publish video reviews on your YouTube channel

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