Online Negative Reviews: A Guide on How to Deal with Them
Online Negative Reviews: A Guide on How to Deal with Them

The reason you are on this page is that you are looking for ways that can help you deal with negative reviews posted on your online business. Well, you are on the right page. I will narrate some effective yet best ways to respond to such reviews. Let’s get started.

Every business whether online or offline, local or global receives a customer complaint at least once in their journey. If you are one of those who think it doesn’t affect their business, you are wrong. Online reputation management is something that helps businesses to manage their reputation on online platforms and helps customers trust a brand.

Trust me when I say, positive or negative, every feedback is important for your business. 84% of people treat online reviews equally as personal recommendations. You may get a reason to cheer when you receive positive reviews, but what about negative reviews? Do you respond to such reviews or do you just ignore them all?

Positive reviews and customer-business interactions are one of the main reasons to improve organic visibility, according to Google. But, negative reviews give you the chance to improve your services. Think about it, if you don’t get any negative reviews, how would you ensure you are providing the best services or products? There is always a space to make everything better.

Now, let’s talk about a few facts about negative reviews that no one will tell you.

1. Cold reviews don’t prove anything:

First thing first, get this thing in your mind, bad reviews don’t prove anything about your business. These are just the feedback based on personal experiences. Or maybe your competitors are unfavorable to your victory and are posting fake negative reviews to dismantle your online reputation. That’s why Online reputation management is crucial for online businesses.

Get back to the point, even if you are stressed with the bad reviews, don’t let them affect your business efficiency. Try to improve it even better. What quality you offer to your customers is what will prove something about your business and not the bad reviews.

2. Reviews are the gift:

Bad or good, both types of reviews are a gift for your business. Good reviews improve your business’s reputation for Google and bad reviews give you the opportunity to make great changes to your services. It’s an opportunity to rise and grow. You will beneficiate from bad reviews only if you are serious about such cases and handle them very professionally, or otherwise, you will continue to get such negativities in your business.

Also, 1 complaint is equal to 26 angry customers, studies have confirmed it. Whenever a complaint or negative review is registered, approx. 26 customers facing the same concern remain silent. Ultimately, giving you chance to improve your services.

3. Customer might be having a not-so-good day:

We all have bad days once in a while. We all might have been bad customers to someone on our bad days.

I know I have been.

The day your customer didn’t give you positive feedback, maybe that was one of his bad days. Might be that customer’s behaviour has nothing to do with your business, put yourself in that situation and take a step back. Connect with the customer and try to apologize or show empathy. 

Okay, so now you may know the reason behind the bad review, how should you respond then?

Well, I am discussing a few ways you can improve your brand image even with the bad reviews.

1. Hear their issue:

Customers are even more frustrated when they find out no one is listening to the problems they are facing. Just hearing them will calm down the heat up to 50%. It’s important for you to acknowledge the issue and realize the inconvenience they have faced. A simple response is enough to begin the conversation. Thank the customer for bringing the circumstances to your attention, like this:

“Thanks for your honest review and bringing the issue to our attention.”

If possible, inform the client about the process and how you will resolve the issue, even if the customer is not able to understand a bit of the process, you won’t regret taking the first step. And probably, the customer may post positive feedback too after the issue is resolved.

2. Show empathy:

Listening to the issues and conveying that you understand how they are feeling will help your customer to believe that you will take an action to resolve the issue. Use general phrases like, “I would be disappointed too.” Make them comfortable in sharing all the details with you so you can get to the bottom of the issue and fix the root cause so you don’t get another complaint.

3. Be apologetic:

If the customer is sharing a genuine problem and you know it’s on your side, you can’t apologize enough. Even if your customer is on the wrong side, win their heart and mind by apologizing sincerely. When you ask for apologies in the first place, you build an image in other customers’ minds that you offer a good level of service. Revert them with an emotion of how sorry you feel to make your customers upset, for example:
“We apologize that we were unable to meet your expectation. Your happiness is our prime priority. We have a very systematic and high-standard approach to serving our customers. We are afraid that you faced the inconvenience.”

Apologize sincerely and to the point and also inform the client that you are committed to delivering high standards.

4. Provide an explanation (If possible):

Sometimes, you have an explanation for the issue being happened. To clear up the misunderstandings with your customer, provide an explanatory explanation to your client so that your customer can understand that you were really at no-fault. While you provide an explanation:

a. be straightforward and to the point while taking responsibility

b. avoid yourself making any kind of excuses

c. offer them a way to re-engage with your business

5. Resolve the issue at the earliest:

Apart from showing empathy and asking for apologies, you need to resolve the issue at your earliest to avoid any repetitiveness to the same issue. When you offer your customers a justified resolution, you increase the chances of customer revisiting. Don’t be afraid to ask your customer “How can I make this right for you?” If your business has certain terms and conditions for such issues, then act accordingly and compensate your customer for the inconvenience caused.
You can also offer a discount for the next service. Discounts or refunds rebuild their trust and make them use your service next time too.

6. Take it offline and don’t get personal:

One of the best ways to deal with online negative reviews is to take the concern offline as soon as you can. Give a thoughtful response and don’t get personal while handling such issues. Hold your patience and show professionalism to deal with people even if you know them personally. Understand the cause they are not satisfied with your service or product, and resolve the issue as sooner as you can.

7. Diagnose carefully:

Know the ‘why’ of the issue being happened. Don’t blame anyone, not your customer, not yourself, and not your employees. Focus on how can and how fast you can fix the issue so that it doesn’t happen again and you don’t repeat the same process over and over to demolish the effect of bad reviews.

Why responding to reviews is important for your business?

According to consumers, businesses that respond to reviews (positive or negative) are 1.7 times more trustworthy than businesses that don’t respond.

The answer becomes simple and to the point now. Well, to increase the trust among your customers, you need to reply to their reviews on behalf of your business. This is how good businesses work.

Trust-building is the main aspect while building a brand image. The reviews work as personal recommendations and you get many new customers as referrals. Also, keep your reviews public, always, that shows the transparency of your business and how authentic you are.

You need to respond to reviews publicly, not to defend yourself or to prove you’re on the right side. You are doing this because you care for your customers and you will always resolve their issues even when they are wrong. That’s how you win trust, by embracing and appreciating them.

Final Thoughts:

The only thing I observed while dealing with the negative reviews is to treat customers respectfully and listen to them. With a delightful and apologetic response, you win the customer’s heart in the first half and your eagerness to resolve the issue, lets you win the second half.

It is not a big concern that you get negative reviews, no one is perfect and no one can make everyone happy, but with little effort, you can make them happy who are connected with you. This is the thing, online reputation management does, to maintain a business reputation.

I had discussed everything in this blog about the ways we can win the heart of our unsatisfied customers. Even if something is left, do let me know in the comments. I would love to edit my post and include your thoughts.

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