How to Deal with Negative Reviews Positively
So you've come across a negative review of your company. It's never fun to read negative company reviews when you put your heart and soul into your business on a daily basis. But negative reviews are part of being in business, and are certainly part of the online world in general, where people are often more harsh than they would be in person. We can feed you the old "don't take it personally" line, but the fact is that no matter how you take it internally, it's your response externally that will make you a winner. The truth is that your customers and potential customers are reading reviews of your company and taking them into consideration when deciding whether to give you their business. The good news is that they are also reading how you respond.
What NOT to do When Responding to Negative Reviews
When you first read a negative review, you may be inclined to jump into defensive mode. However unfounded you may feel the complaint is, do not respond defensively. When it comes to how to deal with bad reviews, responding defensively is almost as bad (if not worse) than not responding at all. Telling the customer that they are wrong may lead to the customer getting angrier and starting an online battle, and you'll come off to other readers as if you can't take constructive criticism.
On the other hand, don't just ignore bad reviews either. Not responding to a negative review could make it seem like you don't care about your customers or that you ignore their needs, which is not a message you want to be portraying about your business.
Some people, as we know, use the cover of the online world to start arguments they have no intention of allowing you to resolve. Don't get into a never ending argument with an unhappy customer online. If your initial response is met with more negativity, let them know you are happy to take their situation offline to help them resolve it. If they carry on, do not feel the need to respond again. This will make the incessantly negative customer seem like the immature party to onlookers.
What to do when Dealing with Negative Reviews
When dealing with dissatisfied customers, always begin with empathy. Make your customer feel heard, and that you care about the issue they've experienced, and care to make it right.
Negative Review Response Example (Intro):
"Hi Dan, I want to thank you for reaching out about this issue. This is Bob Munroe, the owner of Bob's Pizza. I'm sorry you were unhappy with your experience in our restaurant."
This introduction provides the customer with an acknowledgment that you're glad they reached out to tell you about their experience, let's them know who is speaking with them and that their message is important, and provides an upfront apology regarding their experience.
Next, let the customer, and the rest of the people reading the response, know that what they experienced is rare, and shed light on a more positive aspect of your business.
Negative Review Response Example (Positive Twist):
"Our goal is to provide quick and efficient service to every one of our valued customers."
Finally, give the customer a next step to resolve their issue, and suggest that this is done offline. This will make your response sincere and show everyone else reading that a simple online apology is not all you're doing to assist the situation.
Negative Review Response Example #3 (Conclusion):
"Please call or email me at [contact information] so we can discuss and resolve this issue to your satisfaction. I look forward to hearing from you."
When we put it all together, we have a genuine, empathetic, sincere response which has a positive twist and lets everyone know how committed your company is to solving customer issues.
Negative Review Response Example #4 (Full Response):
"Hi Dan, I want to thank you for reaching out about this issue. This is Bob Munroe, the owner of Bob's Pizza. I'm sorry you were unhappy with your experience in our restaurant. Our goal is to provide quick and efficient service to every one of our valued customers. Please call or email me at [contact information] so we can discuss and resolve this issue to your satisfaction. I look forward to hearing from you."
One thing to keep in mind when responding to negative company reviews online is to track them. Tracking reviews can help you understand what may be a legitimate, recurring issue with a process, service, or product within your business. Listening to customer feedback is one of the best ways to retain loyal customers, and improve your products and services.
Talk to a Bloomtools expert about your customer service strategies and start gaining more positive reviews for your business!
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