In today’s digital world, knowing how to deal with bad reviews as a company has become an increasingly powerful factor in determining success. Reviews are also an essential part of both off-page SEO and local SEO.
According to recent studies, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 93% of customers read up to ten reviews before making a purchase. With these figures in mind, businesses must know how to deal with bad reviews.
This article will explore the best strategies for handling negative customer feedback and building a positive reputation online.
How to Deal with Bad Reviews Like a Pro
Your brand is like a baby to you—it needs to be nurtured, cared for, and protected. But what do you do when the reviews start rolling in, and they’re not the most ideal?
In 2023, how you respond to a bad review will be more critical than ever. Consumers are savvier and more dissatisfied than ever, so your response needs to be top-notch.
Here’s how to deal with bad reviews:
Respond Quickly and Thoughtfully to Negative Reviews
Responding quickly and respectfully when a customer leaves a negative review is important. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns and do your best to resolve the issue. Try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and take ownership of the problem, even if you disagree with the customer.
Keep in mind that defending your product here will not help your cause. Instead, stay focused on helping the customer with their issue.
Responding publicly to negative reviews can help you to maintain your reputation, as it shows potential customers that you take all feedback seriously and care about giving them the best experience.
Acknowledge the Complaint
Your response should always acknowledge the complaint. This shows that you are actively listening to your customer’s concerns and taking them seriously. Make sure your response is professional and respectful.
Telling the customer that “this has never happened, so it must be your fault” will not make the customer happy. Your potential customers will be reading the response and seeing how you handle customer complaints—so make sure it reflects positively on your brand.
Respond With Empathy
It’s essential to respond with empathy and understanding. Apologize for any inconvenience the customer has experienced and be willing to offer a solution that resolves their issue. If appropriate, offer a gesture of goodwill such as a coupon or free product to show them that you value their feedback and want to make it right.
Remember that even if the customer is wrong, they may still be upset. Respond to their complaint with understanding and respect, and aim for a mutually beneficial outcome.
Provide an Explanation if Possible
If possible, explain why the customer had a bad experience. This can help diffuse potential tension and show that you understand the customer’s perspective. Be honest and factual in your explanation, but don’t place blame on anyone.
The goal here is to show the customer that you are taking their complaint seriously and doing your best to make it right. Keep in mind that explanation is different from justification. Stick to providing relevant facts, and do your best to not sound defensive.
Ask For Clarification on the Issue
If there are any details that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask the customer for clarification. This will show that you are taking their issue seriously and want to get to the bottom of it.
Asking for clarification also allows you to give a better response, as you will have all the information you need to help resolve their issue.
Take Action to Turn Things Around
Don’t just say that you’ll resolve the issue–do something about it. Take proactive steps to ensure that the customer’s issue is resolved and their complaint is addressed.
If appropriate, offer a refund or exchange, and give the customer an incentive to do business with you again. This will show that you are willing to go above and beyond to make things right with the customer.
What Not To Do When You Get Negative Reviews
Here are a few things you should avoid when responding to a negative review:
Be Defensive: You’re greatly invested in your brand as a business owner. So, when a customer is unhappy with your product or service, it can be difficult to read negative feedback without feeling personally attacked. But it’s important to remember that the customer is not attacking you or your brand—they are simply expressing their experience. So, respond without getting defensive.
Be Dismissive Or Make Excuses: Being dismissive can come off as unprofessional and insincere. It’s better to take ownership of the issue, apologize, and offer solutions. Don’t make excuses or offer justifications. Focus on how you can make it right.
Ignore Them: Ignoring a customer’s complaint is the worst thing you could do. Not only does it show that you don’t care, but it also gives the customer a chance to escalate their complaint or post more negative reviews. Remember that your potential customers will be watching how you handle customer complaints, so you want to respond promptly and professionally.
Knowing how to deal with bad reviews can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be a source of stress or frustration.
Here are some key takeaways from this article:
- When you receive a negative review, respond to it quickly, with respect and understanding.
- Acknowledge their complaint and don’t blame them.
- Respond with empathy and be respectful. Be considerate of the customer’s feelings.
- Explain why the customer had a bad experience, but don’t place blame on anyone.
- If there are any details that you don’t understand, ask the customer for clarification.
- Take action to resolve their complaint and ensure that the same issue doesn’t happen again.
- Don’t be dismissive and defensive because it will only fuel the fire.
- Ignoring a customer’s complaint is the worst thing you could do. It shows that you don’t care and gives the customer a chance to escalate their complaint.