How to Respond to Negative Reviews: 10 Steps to Success

Reviews have the power to make or break a business. When potential buyers are trying to make a purchase, they are likely to go to one of the review pages. Bad reviews, contrary to popular belief, are not always bad for business.

By QJ Gottschalk

When both positive and negative material is included in reviews, 68% of shoppers are more likely to trust them. 

The more expensive the purchase, the more time buyers will spend exploring their choices. Most people believe that online reviews are as reliable as a personal recommendation from someone they know. They also trust responses more when there is a combination of positive and negative feedback.

Did you know that 53% of customers actively search out poor feedback for one or more products they’re considering?

If potential customers see unresolved negative feedback, they’ll be less likely to consider your company and product. Not only does responding to negative feedback allow you to rebuild trust and possibly retain a current customer. It can also help you attract new customers by reassuring them that you’ll fix it quickly if anything goes wrong with their order.

Negative reviews can be very damaging to your company if they’re ignored. It’s best to stick to these 10 steps and show your customers that you care.

When responding to negative feedback, there are ten simple things to keep in mind. Although the ideal solution differs from situation to situation, there are a few best practices applied to almost any situation.

 

1. Say Sorry

Customers who leave a negative review are often dissatisfied and enraged. Opening your answer with a genuine apology is a good idea.

2. It's Not Meant To Be Taken As a Personal Attack.

Although it can seem like a personal attack, notably when you’ve worked so hard to build your company, keep in mind that the critic is unhappy with the product, not you.

3. Respond Immediately

It’s sometimes overwhelming to run a company. When a negative review emerges, you’re likely to have a lot on your plate. If you wait too long before apologising, you can seem insincere. Where necessary, try to respond within 24 hours or appoint someone who can respond immediately.

4. Always Respond

Some people suggest that you don’t react to any negative review. However, you’re impacting more than just the negative reviewer; you’re also impressing the many other prospective customers who are reading the review.

5. Make It Clear To The Reviewer Who Is Responding.

By introducing yourself to the customer, they’ll feel more connected to your team and understand that you’re not just some anonymous stranger trying to help. If you’re the owner or manager, for example, start your answer with your title, so they know you’re serious about their complaint.

6. Express Gratitude for Their Review

Although thanking reviewers can seem pointless when they are criticising your product, it will make them feel valued and appreciated.

7. Personalise your answer

Personalising your answers will show the reviewer that you’ve sincerely considered their suggestions. A generic response that you copy and paste would do more harm than good. Addressing them by their first name is a clear example of how to do this.

8. Provide Some Kind of Fair Incentives.

Although this is an optional step, it can assist you in resolving issues by asking consumers to change their poor reviews to great ones. A future discount, promo code, or reimbursement, depending on the case, are good examples of incentive.

9. Keep it Short and Sweet

Lengthier responses may seem desperate and defensive. Most of the time, long apologies are unnecessary. Aim for two paragraphs— one discussing the problem and the other fixing it.

10. Take It Offline

Offer to solve the problem over the phone or during a conversation in the shop. Things would be less aggressive and more humanised. Taking it to a private channel will help you resolve conflicts.

Bonus tip: Use An Answer Template That Can Be Customised.

It’s difficult to react to negative feedback without taking the critiques personally. Use a well thought out template to reply to customers, which you can modify to suit the situation.

It comes as no surprise that Brick & Mortar Retail needs to do everything in their power to keep ahead of their competitors. Despite this, retailers are apprehensive about using meaningful solutions and information to assist with doing just that!

When it comes to eCommerce, tools like dwell time, bounce rate, conversions, customer journey, surveys, chat, and so much more are considered standard tools to optimise customer experience and increase basket spend. Why not make this the norm for Brick & Mortar Retail? Thanks to Service Systems, now you can!

We have a broad understanding of retailers’ pain points. We aim to complement and improve the retail experience by introducing various tech solutions that elevate a data-driven approach to retail management and consumer engagement. Ultimately forging the roadmap to success.

For more than a decade, Service Systems has successfully assisted retailers with their in-store technology needs. From single stores to retail chains, we develop and deploy solutions that solve challenges. We are confident that we can provide you with the knowledge, technology and passion for making it happen!

If you are keen to learn how we can help you succeed, mail us  at ninja@servicesystems.co.za or call us at +27872374783.