While it may seem like the easier choice to avoid responding to a negative review, it’s not the smarter choice. Negative reviews have just as much power as positive reviews — if not more — on how consumers interact with your business. When you receive a negative review, a response is required. It is a best practice for reputation management and the right thing to do. But, why do people even leave negative reviews? And, what do they want you to do about it?
Why did they leave a negative review?
The most common reasons why people leave negative reviews are as follows:
- They want an apology
- They want to warn other people
- They want you to resolve an issue
People want to be heard — by you and by others. By identifying why someone wants to be heard, you can then determine how best to respond to their comment(s).
Why You Should Respond to Negative Reviews
1. You’re Expected to Respond
With a whopping 89% of consumers reading businesses’ responses to reviews, it’s safe to say that customers are expecting you to respond. But, it’s not just that — responding to negative reviews actually improves your business’s reputation. In a recent online survey by ReviewTrackers, 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews.
2. Customer Service
Responding to reviews is a simple way to practice and showcase excellent customer service. Promptly responding to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative, shows consumers you are active, engaged, and caring.
3. Opportunity to Change Their Mind
Responding to negative reviews gives you the opportunity to show yourself in a better light. A recent study shows that seven out of 10 customers changed their opinion about a business after the business responded to the review. Not only does responding to negative reviews improve your reputation to consumers, but it also shows negative reviewers that you’re willing to resolve their issues and earn back their business. By taking reviews and customer service seriously, it’s not impossible to turn that one-star review into a raving five-star review.
What to Do When You Get a Negative Review
Remain Calm and Respond
It might seem tempting to hastily respond out of spite, especially if the negative review is rampant with false accusations. Nevertheless, staying calm is necessary! Remember to remain level-headed and write a courteous response.
Open a Direct Communication Line
If you have a very upset customer, it may be best to take things off the review platform and open a new line of communication. This new line of communication could be an email address or phone number where you can be easily reached. Explain to the customer that this will help get the issue resolved quicker. Taking things offline shows you are available, willing to listen, and ready to fix the problem.
Ask For Reviews
Did you know that 70% of consumers that are asked to leave a review will go on to do so? Go ahead and ask customers to review your business. You can ask customers for reviews in a social media post or a mass email.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Responding to bad reviews isn’t fun, but it’s critical — and so is how you respond. If you’re at a loss for what to say, these proven response templates can help you handle them with ease.
“Hi [name]. Thank you for taking the time to let us know your experience did not meet expectations. We would like the opportunity to investigate your feedback further. At your earliest convenience, please reach out to [contact name] at [contact email]. Thank you.”
“Hi [name]. Thank you for your feedback. Customer satisfaction is our top priority. We’re sorry to hear about your experience and greatly appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Please reach out to [contact name] at [contact email] so we can make things right.”
“We were very concerned to read your comments regarding your recent experience. Please contact [contact name] at [contact email] as soon as possible. Thank you.”
“Thank you for your review. Your feedback helps us improve.”
Tips to Prevent Negative Reviews
Provide Excellent Customer Service
One of the simplest ways to avoid negative reviews is to consistently deliver excellent customer service. Of course, there will always be a few people here and there who love to complain, but don’t let that discourage you. The majority of your customers will appreciate great customer service and will review your business accordingly.
Direct Negative Reviewers to a Specific Platform
If you want to limit the number of negative reviews you receive on a platform, create a platform. This will allow your unhappy customers to be heard and consoled without the sting of a negative Google review. A good example of this would be to send unhappy customers to a contact form on your website, where they can voice their complaints and later be contacted by someone on your team via email or phone call.
Promptly Respond to Negative Reviews
Did you know that 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week? Promptly responding to unhappy customers is one of the most important parts of dealing with negative reviews.
Follow Through On Your Promise
Do you promise customers next day delivery? Do you offer a money-back guarantee? Make sure you’re keeping your promises. Breaking promises makes for unhappy customers and more negative reviews.