How can You Respond to Negative Reviews?
When you are promoting a brand online, you need to have authentic reviews online for what products and services you offer. And for managing your online reputation, you need to reply to those reviews too, even the negative ones. According to the studies of Spiegel Research Center, at least 92% of customers check for even one review before they make any purchase. In fact, studies of BrightLocal show that 85% of consumers rely on online reviews like this is a direct recommendation from someone they know. So, your reviews matter a lot. And also, it matters how to respond to the reviews including the negative ones.
Why Do You Need to Reply to the Negative Reviews?
You know that your reviews are important. But replying to them too is very important for you, even the negative ones. Why? For the following reasons:
- Make things right with your response to the negative review you have got. While many happy customers will not tell you what went wrong, a negative review will tell you where you need to improvise. And for that, you need to check and reply to the negative reviews.
- If the potential customers get to see that you care as a brand, they will be impressed with you. Even if someone who is just checking reviews will read your reply and will think that you are responsible.
- Customers feel more connected with the businesses when they get to see the human side of the business. When you are acknowledging the negative review and replying to it, it will show the human side of you, the brand, and that will attract your customers more.
How Should You Respond To the Negative Reviews?
Mistakes are inevitable. And when you are making mistakes in the business world, it will result in negative reviews. However, when there is no mistake from your end, you will get negative reviews too. So, you have to know in any case, how you need to respond to the negative reviews. Take a look at the following points to know more.
Analyze the Problem
The moment you get a negative review, you will be tempted to start typing an angry response. But before you do that, stop yourself. Now, take a deep breath and read the review. Find out what this unsatisfied customer is talking about. Try to think from the point of view of the customer and decide if the response is right or not. Find out where the system is broken. Or if not, find out if you can improvise or not on the point the customer has mentioned. At times, to address and solve the issue, you will need more information. That is okay. You can ask the customer about clarifying the issues a bit more.
Now start responding with an apology. When you are apologizing, you are making the customer feel like they are seen and heard. This calms the unsatisfied customer. They will see that you care about their experience. So, make sure that you are apologizing.
The next thing that you will have to do is showing empathy. Show them that you can completely understand how they feel. If you have been an unsatisfied customer in your life, then you surely can slip in their shoes and can relate. For showing empathy, try to think from their perspective.
Explain the Problem
Now, you need to explain to the customer what happened and what resulted in such a bad experience for them. You are not making excuses. Rather, you are taking time to understand their point of view. Even if they have done something which is the reason for their dissatisfaction, explain that without the accessory tone.
Refrain from Argument
No matter what happens, don’t get into an argument with them. When you are replying to a negative review, you might feel overwhelmed and end up arguing. But you need to understand that even if you are talking to one person, all your customer base is reading the review thread and they will make their opinions depending on the response. Arguing will make you look insensitive to the customers and unprofessional. You need to embrace the negative review, accept that you cannot make everyone happy and then lead the discussion. Your goal should be to offer satisfaction to this customer. You can invite them over the phone or email for more details regarding the problem in the comments.
Go Offline for the Rest of the Conversation
Chances are that you will not be able to solve the issue of the customer with your first response. And that is why you need to take the conversation off the review and offline. When you get a negative review, you can draft a standard reply like “We are sorry to hear about your trouble. We would like to know more about your issues. So, for a detailed discussion, please give us your number and we will get back to you. Drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.” With this one reply, you can apologize, sound professional and take it offline.
Update About Progress
Once you resolve the issue, make sure that you are updating your progress on the review thread. You can leave a comment like, “Hello. Hopefully, we could resolve your issue. Do let us know if we can help you more.” Or if the issue is solved, you can leave a reply like “It was good to hear from you. We are looking forward to serving in the future again.” This will show that you are handling the matter quite professionally and paying attention to the customers.
Ask for an Updated Review
If you can resolve the issue with the customer, then most likely they are happy and satisfied now. So, request an updated review from them now.
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