Online Reviews are a great way to encourage people who have experienced your service or bought your product for themselves to share their thoughts and celebrate your company while also leaving room for the opportunity to let you know where there is room for improvement. Making sure your brand responds to both positive and negative reviews should be a top priority when establishing your customer service procedure.
Some business owners can feel uneasy about giving people an opportunity to publicly express any disappointment, but this can be helpful to businesses who wish to retain a transparent and open dialog with consumers. Before we dive into how to handle a negative review, it’s imperative to remember the importance and weight online reviews hold for your business.
Check out this infographic that digs into how to handle a negative review:
Why Respond to Negative Reviews:
MOZ’s research shows 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. With nearly a quarter of consumers agreeing that two negative reviews impact their purchase decisions, how a business responds to them can make the difference between a sale stemming from redemption and a missed opportunity.
- First and foremost, make sure your business has an established process for addressing customer concerns in this way. Having a designated employee in charge of these issues and responding within 24 hours will make keeping on top of customer service much easier in the long run.
- Read their review in its entirety to fully understand where their frustration is coming from. Do they feel like the company didn’t give them attention they deserved during a visit? Was there an issue with the product they took home? Make notes to address each concern listed.
- If the consumer is unclear in their displeasure, businesses are encouraged to ask them to explain in greater detail so you can fully address their concerns. On some platforms, there are options to direct the conversation to a private message to get more details, but each exchange should be treated as if all eyes are on the conversation.
- Try to understand what the customer wants to get out of this situation. Is it something your company can make right in form of refund, gift card, or sending a new product to replace the defective one? Decide how your company can rectify the situation to make the consumer feel they were heard and understood.
When Resolution Isn't An Option
Some people who leave negative reviews are simply frustrated and are not necessarily seeking a resolution. In these instances, it is in the best interest of the business to sincerely express concern over the issue and strive to find a solution together. You may not always receive a productive response to move forward in the matter, but if other consumers see the business has done their part to rectify the issue, you will be able to save face and show the public you are a business that cares about customer satisfaction and wellbeing––even in the face of negativity or aggressive response.
Your first reaction may be to hide or delete any blatant negative comments that appear on your social media posts or Page. This is highly discouraged because the damage deleting a complaint can pose is much greater than allowing your brand to engage in an open dialogue and earnest conflict resolution. This allows consumers/patients to understand how seriously the company takes its customer complaints, and that should one ever rise for them, it would not be swept under the rug or deleted.
The only situation where this could be beneficial is when the comment contains profanity with no substance of complaint. Facebook allows Pages to “hide” comments. This option allows the person who posted it to see it still active on the post, but removes it from public view. Pages can always access hidden comments to review at a later date and keep record of it, rather than deleting it and losing record of it occurring. It is important to remember just how powerful consumers are online and on social media, and they must be addressed the same way as if it were happening in person.
No matter what the issue may be, remember that negative reviews are the perfect opportunity to give customers a sense of their value to you. Whether they can be resolved amicably or not, it’s your chance to show the public that at times businesses can fall short, your company will do its very best to do right by every individual that interacts with your brand.