Negative online reviews
The Internet provides consumers with nearly unlimited options and a direct channel for communication with companies. Love a product’s design and functionality? Write a review on Google. Experience negative custom service at a restaurant? Share it on Yelp. Negative online reviews can be shared too.
Online reviews can make a significant impact on the future of a company given that 89% of consumers read a company’s reply to reviews. Therefore, a business should spend time carefully crafting their reply to both negative and positive reviews.
Many people consider negative reviews to be inevitable because not one consumer values or experiences a product or service the same. Ignoring consumer reviews online can hurt your brand and cash inflows. Read on for tips for replying to reviews online.
1. Recognize the Problem and Apologize
We’ve all heard the phrase “the customer is always right.” Take that to heart when replying to a negative review. Acknowledge the problem in your response, so the consumer knows you understand and include an apologetic sentence or two.
Customer complaints can be perceived as ridiculous from a business standpoint, but their feelings are real. De-escalating the situation with an apology is all the consumer wants sometimes.
At the end of the day, we’re all human. Display your compassion in your reply to a review, so your customers know you care above and beyond the transaction. Put yourself in their shoes and ask how you’d feel in this situation. This can be a good exercise before drafting a response. Here are 12 authentic ways to get better online reviews.
3. Avoid Disputes Online
An important guideline to replying to negative reviews: it’s not personal. Running a business requires tremendous energy, hardwork and heart. This makes reading a negative review online frustrating for many business owners.
Avoid defensive replies by taking a moment to breath and calm your emotions. Future customers may be hesitant to purchase your products if they see you’ve argued with past customers.
4. Give Offline Support Contact Info
More often than not, negative customer reviews involve serious problems. If a customer simply doesn’t like the product, it’s unlikely they’ll spend time blasting their opinion online. Regonzie when a review needs more than a short reply and provide an email or phone number to directly reach someone for help. This proves your company values their business and goes beyond a mediocre “give us a call” page.
5. Implement Steps to Mitigate the Situation
A common step to mitigate a negative review is extending an offer. Some airlines extend offers to upset customers in the form of a discounted flight or free baggage, depending on the severity of a situation. This could win a customer’s respect and business back because it shows your commitment to excellent customer service. Ensure you acknowledge the problem and apologize before giving an offer because this could be perceived as bribery.
6. Answer the Review with Gratitude
It may sound funny to say “thank you” for a negative review, but gratitude can turn a negative situation into a positive one. Most of the time ending on a positive note is a company’s goal when replying to reviews. Thank your customer for allowing you to solve any internal problems from their rear view. This can make a genuine and lasting impact.
7. Update Your Reply
Some negative reviews involve a few messages back and forth with a customer. Once you’ve reached a resolution of a customer’s issue, include a status update that reads “resolved” to show future customers you took action. Ultimately, this promotes your customer service capabilities.
Below is an infographic from Housecall Pro featuring examples and template ideas for you to practice writing your own negative review replies.
Drew is a content marketing specialist from San Diego, where he helps create epic content for companies like Housecall Pro. He loves learning, writing and playing music. When not surfing the web, you can find him actually surfing, in the kitchen or in a book.