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How Do You React to Negative Reviews?

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A very important part of marketing; reviews can determine sales from a marketing campaign and can even impact your ranking in search. But, just how do you react to negative reviews?

Many of your potential customers will rely on reviews to determine if they will purchase from you. These reviews, positive or negative, greatly affect how someone will perceive your business. Not all reviews however speak of you in a good way.

Negative reviews are often made by past clients that were not happy with the services or products a business provided. Seen largely on e-commerce sites; a review is made of a rating (usually 0 to 5 stars) and a description. Each product has an average rating which is generated from all the reviews it has; the more negative reviews, the worse the average.

However, this does not only apply to e-commerce. Normal businesses will often have social media of some form or Google Plus. These platforms are avenues in which negative reviews can be uploaded. There is no average rating (except for Google Plus), but they will be seen by any viewers of those pages.

Negative reviews don’t have to be so ‘negative’ for your business. There are some great ways to use these reviews in your favour which we will cover in this article.

Don’t go on the defensive

One common mistake businesses make when replying to a review is by going on the defensive and attacking the reviewer. It is common for business to do this, but it’s not the most effective way to respond. Instead, staying positive and replying in a formal and understanding manor is what makes a business excel.

A negative review can anger or upset you, but if responded to in a positive and calm manor, it could resolve the issue while making you look great to other potential customers. Attacking a reviewer online will only lead to further disturbance and will put off people from using your service or products. Who would want to use an aggressive company?

Commonly the customer is in the wrong due to misunderstanding, but you do not want them to feel like a victim. Respond calmly and stay positive. Don’t ignore the review either as it looks much better if you post a positive comeback.

Solve The Problem

Apologising won’t answer someone questions and can usually make them more agitated. A customer doesn’t want an apology; they want a resolution to their problem. The customer might be looking for a refund, want credit or want help solving an issue with a product. These issues need to be responded to with a solution.

Within the gaming industry, there are many people which get angry or upset when they are not able to use a service or product they have paid for. They then publish a complaint onto social media. Depending on what company it is, they might have a social media account such as EA Help on Twitter.

As shown in the image below, someone was running into an issue which they contacted EA Help about. This problem was soon resolved after EA Help got back in contact to try and organise a way of contact. There are many cases in which people write to EA for help and all the issues are responded to in a professional and polite manor.

The customer might not always react in a friendly way. However, from speaking to them calmly, there are reduced chances for miscommunication and the issue is sure to be resolved. Showing that you care for the customers often will change their stance when speaking to you. This will be either during the conversations with the customer or after. They might even consider removing or changing the review!

Offline Communications

Not everything can be discussed online for the world to see. Sometimes the subject might be quite sensitive and need to be discussed in person, over the phone or via instant messages. This does not mean that you ignore the review.

Replying to the review on the same platform it was published is a way to give a method of communication to the customer, but also show other potential customers that you are offering a solution. Providing another method of contact is a great way to show that you are willing to discuss the problem and get it resolved.

Going that extra bit for your customers is what makes them come back again or even tempt potential customers into getting in contact. Due to the time consumption, this should only be used where necessary such as issues resolving around personal information.

Your customers are real people as well

Speak to people how you would like to be spoken to. Your customers don’t want to be left with an automatic bot to go through their issues, they will want to talk directly to a person who could help. They want to be treated like a human being and this is exactly how you should speak to them. Be friendly, yet professional when speaking to them.

Not only does using simple and plain language help with the communication; it also makes it sound like they are talking to a human being. They will not want to talk to someone that is talking scarcely or as if they are the whole business.

Updating the negative review

After speaking to the customer that left the negative review, your next step should be to get them to update it. Once the issue is resolved, ask them if they could update the review. This shows that you have spoken to the customer, solved their issue and they are happy with the service they received. In a potential customer’s eyes, this makes you look like a better business to purchase from.

Not all customers will change the review however. These are unavoidable. This does not mean that you are then stuck with a negative review with no resolution listed. You can reply to this again, detailing if the issue was resolved and if they were happy with the resolution. You can even reply if you weren’t able to resolve the issue and why that was.

The Conclusion

You can never make everyone happy; it is impossible as not everyone reacts to services and products in the same way. Negative reviews might make you feel like you aren’t giving a good service, but you can use them to improve your company via customer feedback. Utilising the negative reviews you get is a direct method to showing your customer service to potential customers.

Aiming to get the issue resolved as soon as possible and the review updated should be a primary goal for your business.

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