HOW TO HANDLE NEGATIVE ONLINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS

The way you handle negative customer reviews determines your online business success. Respond promptly, avoid being personal, and publicly apologize…

Online reviews act as digital testimonials that provide insight into your reputation to visitors to your website. Positive reviews can help you attract traffic, improve your search engine rankings, advertise your business and provide confidence in a user’s decision to purchase.

Not all clients will give you a positive review despite providing high-quality brands and a better-than-average customer experience. Therefore, you should prepare to accept and respond to unhappy customers who can prove stubborn and overwhelming.

Remember that all your responses are naked to the public; thus, responding responsibly and professionally will better impact your business. This resource enlightens you on precautions you can take while handling negative online customer reviews in your business.

1. Avoid Getting Personal

Other than getting angry after reading a customer review, analyze the complaint’s nature. Ensure to refrain from revenging or attacking the client even if the client has no valid point.

If you make a mistake, which often happens to most businesses, make amends by apologizing for the inconvenience and, if appropriate, making compensation to the client. You have everything to gain by handling the negative review like a professional.

With the ever-growing online competition, view negative reviews as arsenals to help you establish your digital presence by offering solutions to your client’s issues. Consequently, aim at working on your emotion to avoid getting personal.

2. Respond Promptly

A customer who has a negative experience with your brand or service often responds when they are upset by leaving a negative review. By responding swiftly to their negative comment, you will calm them down and assure them that their opinion is valued.

Even when the customer is out of line, respond promptly to assure them that you care about their business and desire to give them the best. Quick response is the right thing to do since it signifies that you are alert and reliable.

Prompt response will help you build trust with your existing customers since they will appreciate how you dignify your clients despite their feedback. You have the upper hand in shaping the conversation before others comment negatively and blow the situation out of hand by promptly taking action.

3. Publish and Respond Publicly

An important strategy to handle negative customer reviews is publicly responding to comments. Some clients will not like the color or fragrance of a product; others will have delivery complaints which will undoubtedly result in negative feedback. r

When you publicly display good and bad reviews, you heighten confidence in your clients since it proves you are authentic and reliable. Next time you have those negative reviews from dissatisfied customers, publish them publicly, no matter how bad they are.

Every time you respond publicly to negative reviews, you convince your online shoppers that you acknowledge their concerns.

4. Take the Conversation Offline

Sometimes your efforts to compensate or provide an alternative for a dissatisfied customer will prove in vain. This presents the need for you to contact them via email or phone to find out the ideal way and time to communicate to help solve the displeasure with your brand or service.

 Complex issues involving specific transactions are better handled privately to ensure the situation does not get out of hand. You help encourage more visitors to your site by taking the conversation offline as they do not have to read lengthier discussions.

Remember to refrain from asking for your customer’s contact through your public conversation. Rather, request if you can send you a private message to ensure maximum security for their information.

No matter what your customer posted on your website, be the bigger person and refrain from engaging in negative public exchange. You can make a suggestion, requesting them to converse offline to help solve their concerns.

5. Be Grateful and Appreciate

Appreciate all feedback since it helps you improve your brand and services. It takes courage for a customer to give you an honest critical review without sugar-coating, and this should move you to show gratitude and appreciation.

During this era of social media, reviews act as a reliable source of information to other consumers; therefore, appreciate the feedback as it will allow you to eliminate poor service from your business.

When you act on negative reviews by admitting your imperfections and providing a solution, your business will retain the customers who had the guts to give you feedback: thus, allowing you to win them and increase loyalty.

Thanks to negative feedback grounded on facts, your business is challenged to make improvements on providing a high-quality brand and attracting more traffic to your site. Appreciating the customer feedback you receive will enable you to acquire better listening skills since their voice is priceless in enhancing business growth.

6. Understand How Reviews Impact Search Rankings

Did you know that most customers rely on reviews to help them make decisions? The truth is, consistent and recent reviews on your site determine the fate of your business.

Most authoritative search engines rank websites based on perceived authority partially determined by backlinks. You can encourage your customers to review your products every time they purchase.

These customers will leave positive and negative reviews, which will help to authenticate your review page. Their reviews will generate potential backlinks from authoritative websites, thus, engendering your rankings.

But, how can you get reviews from customers? Consider the following options: –

  • Send your customers follow-up emails and request them to give you a review using a direct link to your preferred profile. 
  • Adapt a review management tool to assist you in email sharing and automation.
  • Offer freebies to customers who leave a review, such as a free shopping voucher or publish their review on your website.
  • Take the extra step

Going over and beyond is not for everyone, but businesses that take this route will change the tides of negative customer reviews. Taking an extra step is recommended based on the issue and the impact the negative comment is likely to have. In some cases, an apology or offering a credit that can be used at your store is not the ideal redress to the issue.

You take the extra steps because you want to right the wrong and earn the disgruntled customer’s trust. You can begin by offering a peace token, a gift card, or a flower to the reviewer.

Alternatively, you could send a heartfelt apology letter. Of course, you do not want to go overboard with an expensive gift to win over one negative reviewer. Research your reviewer to decern what gift will likely appear thoughtful to them and then present it.

Additionally, you can make a custom video or image for the reviewer and post it on the review page. This can improve the reviewer’s perception of your brand and will likely influence other customers in the future. Customers who one’s uncertain and the brand’s criticizers will see your response to the negative review and may convert into your brand advocates. Impressed customers will likely talk about your customer care services, giving you mileage.

How to minimize negative reviews

A few negative reviews are not bad since they help you improve your products and services and make your review page authentic. However, consistent negative reviews are bad news and can send your sales into the abyss. Here are some tips to help you avoid negative online reviews:

  • Provide stellar services– If your services are beyond reproach, you will have few complaints and better reviews.
  • Perfect timing– Your customers will likely leave you a review one or two days after receiving their order. You want to be vigilant with those days and promptly respond to any complaint.
  • Make your review invites clear– use images, colors, and text to make your shop recognizable. Ensure your order details are clear to prevent any misunderstanding.
  • Provide adequate product information– Customers often complain when the product does not match their expectations. You can avoid this issue by providing sufficient product information such as descriptions, images, and FQAs.
  • Provide functional contact information– If your contact information is working, the chances are that you’re an unhappy customer will reach you via email or phone call instead of venting online.
  • Ensure your keep your promise– if you want to see a customer’s frustration and anger, fail to deliver on time. You can avoid negative reviews from angered clients by keeping your availability and delivery promise.

Final Thoughts

Your website is like an open book that anyone can access and should make you appreciate good and bad customer feedback. A customer who gives you a negative review is priceless since most users will leave your website upon displeasure without uttering a word and never to return.

Negative reviews help you identify flaws in your online shop that you might not realize, including product description, poor website navigation, and delivery options. Most of your site’s visitors will peruse through negative reviews to view your brand and online services. Therefore, give attention to how you respond to negative reviews to drive traffic and increase conversion rate.

How have you handled negative customer reviews for your business, and has it worked?