Online reviews are a big part of attracting potential customers. Most often, customers choose to do business with you because of the reviews your business has. To be precise, 97% of customers look to reviews before deciding to make a purchase. This type of “word of mouth” is crucial for a business’s sale. If you find yourself having to deal with a negative review, you must know the best way to tackle it.
Look at it as an opportunity:
Many people immediately associate a negative review as a bad thing. Realistically, this is something that is unavoidable for many businesses. You can “try” to adjust your business practices to please everyone but the truth is, that’s impossible. No matter how much you change your customer service, there will always be someone that is just not satisfied. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it or brush it off. A bad review gives you the opportunity to show the public you are willing to listen and act on what they feel went wrong. Current and potential customers are able to see this and gravitate more towards your business, now that you are more approachable. Regardless of what platform you are responding in, having that out there will always be better for your business. When talking these negative responses, keep a few things in mind:
Timing is Everything
Receiving a complaint for your business does not give a great feeling as a business owner. But your response should be executed accordingly. A response should be made in a timely fashion, within 48 hours. A quick response shows that you care about their opinion and are open to fixing things where you can.
Do Not Be Too Robotic With Your Response
Customers do not like to feel like they are not heard. Even more so when they had to go through the whole process of using your product, not getting the results, and making a complaint. Try not to use stock responses with marketing vocabulary and industry jargon as a reply. This only infuriates a customer and makes them want to reply with more negative remarks. Being authentic and showing genuine interest in their concerns goes a long way. Take the time to speak to your customers.
Many people feel that an apology is not necessary, but it is! Customers just want to be heard and feel important, an apology simmers the situation down and allows for better communication. Take the necessary steps to take the conversation out of the public eye and into a more direct form. Direct messages/emails are the best way to communicate with customers. A public apology shows everyone online that you are empathetic and you care about your customers satisfaction and a private conversation will most likely keep them as a customer in the future.
Make it Right
If you find that the customer was right, make it right. At the end of the day it will cost you less to make things right than to ignore the problem all together. You’d rather invest time into conserving a customer than investing in money trying to replace that one. Offer a refund, free service, and such in order to keep the customer coming back. It doesn’t always work, but worth a shot!
Look at Your Processes
Negative reviews are an opportunity to grow your business and change what doesn’t work. By asking the customer how you can improve you are gaining an outside perspective on how to make your business better. At that point, look at your processes and internal working and see where the mistake truly lies. Mistakes in a business are unavoidable, but making the same mistake twice is avoidable.