Negative reviews aren’t always bad.
While your goal is to get good reviews, you’ll most likely encounter a bad review or two. It just happens. The good news is that the reviews themselves aren’t always bad for business. What’s more telling is how you handle it.
When someone posts a negative online review, an interesting opportunity opens up: if you recover from the mistake well, you can actually build a stronger relationship with the customer than you had before.
Here are some tips for how to deal with negative online reviews:
Respond promptly and publicly, on the same platform.
It’s natural that the first thing that comes to your mind when you get a bad review is to try and delete it or get defensive, but it may not be the best move for your business. Respond to the review on the same platform in a polite way. This shows that you care about your customers’ experience and take them seriously.
Empathize with them.
Instead of trying to explain your way out of the situation, apologize for the unsatisfying experience. Address the issue, empathize with your customer and try to resolve it. Always admit that a mistake was made, and ask what you can do for them to resolve the situation. Communicate that you intend to use their feedback to improve their experiences with your business in the future.
If needed, take the issue away from the forum.
If you believe that the issue could lead to an argument, it may be better to reply privately via email or phone. This will ensure that the issue gets resolved immediately and that you do not disclose any private details regarding the customer’s issue. If you resolve the matter to the customer’s satisfaction, leave a brief comment in the public timeline.
My competitor is writing false negative reviews! What now?
False negative reviews should be treated with the same level of care and consideration as real negative reviews. Take it as an opportunity to rise up to the occasion and provide the pseudo-customer with a resolution. Your response will tell other potential customers that even when things go wrong, you are committed to each and every customer.
Keep in mind, new reviews will supersede the false negative review, and before you know it, it will no longer be visible in the first page of your profile. Even if it is, the information will be drowned out by multiple accolades from your real happy customers.
If you are sure that a review was posted out of spite and is not genuine, then you can ask the review site to remove it. Support your claim with factual evidence, and post it as a response. You can also flag it as an inappropriate review and wait for the site to remove it. Whichever course of action you take, be sure to never reply in a hostile manner.
Not all negative reviews are bad for you. It may not seem like it, but people that leave bad reviews aren’t “out to get you”. Many times, they are just sharing a bad experience they had with your business. Share these reviews with your staff and work on the points mentioned to provide a better experience to your future customers.