I’ve got a negative review, how should I respond?

I’ve got a negative review, how should I respond?

Love them or hate them, agree or disagree, online reviews are an integral and critical part of doing business online.

We will all get negative reviews from time to time, how we respond determines, how potential customers view your business. Here are some simple rules to help you respond.

1. Stay calm!!

Responding in a defensive or ‘knee jerk’ action should be avoided at all costs

2. Take the positives

In every negative review, there are always positives to be taken. Take any criticisms as a way of pointing your business in the right direction.

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3. Don’t take it personally. 

It’s perfectly natural to, feel that the review writer was criticising you personally, they were only venting. Avoid responding in a negative manner. This only invites further criticism, invite the writer of the negative review to discuss it further (but not through your review page!) Responding only once in your review page is vitally important.

4. Why were they venting?

Whether, in your opinion, they had a good reason to vent or not, always respond positively, keep your personal opinions to yourself.

Avoid writing defensively, maintain a neutral stance in your response, offer to resolve the situation in your response

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3. Don’t take it personally.

It’s perfectly natural to, feel that the review writer was criticising you personally, they were only venting. Avoid responding in a negative manner. This only invites further criticism, invite the writer of the negative review to discuss it further (but not through your review page!) Responding only once in your review page is vitally important.

4. Why were they venting?

Justified or not, taking any criticism is difficult even on a good day. Whether, in your opinion, they had a good reason to vent or not, always respond positively, keep your personal opinions to yourself.

Avoid writing defensively, maintain a neutral stance in your response, offer to resolve the situation.

An example of how to respond would be something like
” Hi [customer name] we’re very sorry that, you had a problem with the service you received. We always aim to please. We will take your comments forward and endeavour to include these in future transactions.

 

Offering to take their criticisms furher will help to appease that customer and, more importantly, show that you read your reviews.Justified or not

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5. Read and respond to all your reviews.

Over 53% of customers expect companies to respond to their negative reviews within a week. Combined with the fact that only four negative reviews can lead to 70% customer loss, the importance of responding to an upset customer becomes obvious.

Reading and responding to your reviews regularly (every 2 or 3 days) is very important. Leaving them any longer will allow more customers to see that you have not responded. Always respond to every review be they positive OR negative. Don’t just use a stock response, Use the reviewers name to make it a warmer response, remember to keep it positive!

6. Potential customers really do read reviews.

Google, Trip Adviser, Facebook, Yelp. These four businesses sites make up in the region of 88% of all online reviews, Remember that when a potential customer finds your site after “googling it”. They will instantly see ALL your reviews, and, you know, they are going to look.

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7. Never insult your customers

There is no doubt, you will have poured your heart and soul into forming and running your business. There have been endless hours of long grueling work behind it, and you regard it as a statement to your capability and qualities.

It’s no surprise then that you might view bad reviews as an attack on you personally. This can push you to respond to negative reviews in a way that won’t help anyone and will just make the situation worse.

When you take things personally, you might resort to straight-up insulting your customers. Saying that this leaves a negative impression is an understatement – insulting upset customers is a surefire way to trash your public image.

Therefore, you must learn to separate business from your reactions and avoid spewing insults or channeling negative feelings into your response.

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To summarize, here are the dos and don’ts of negative review responses

Do:

  • Respond quickly
  • Respond to (nearly) every review
  • Apologize and show empathy
  • Thank customers for their review
  • Try to fix the problem
  • Offer to contact them directly
  • Take the conversation offline

Don’t:

  • Be overly defensive
  • Insult customers
  • Try to be too funny
  • Blame your employees
  • Engage with trolls
  •  

Final Thoughts

To round everything up, we think it’s important to reiterate one thing: you need to change how you feel about negative reviews.

Don’t regard them as nuisances, personal attacks, or just dangers to your online reputation. A negative review is an opportunity, one that is not given by traditional marketing methods.

Every negative review you respond to tactfully, politely, and quickly will attract future customers. Responding to bad reviews shows you’re not turning a blind eye to problems that can arise. Instead, you’re willing to work to fix them.

Good responses also demonstrate you’re willing to correct the mistakes you make and remain polite and emphatic even when you weren’t in the wrong.

Absorb the advice we’ve provided here, and every negative review will become an opportunity instead of a crisis.

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