It happens to everyone and it is totally unavoidable. A bad review. You can be the best, the brightest, the kindest, but you just can't please everyone. Maybe you deserve one. Maybe your team dropped the ball. For whatever reason, these steps will ensure that those negative reviews do NOT drag you down or phase prospective customers.
1. Contact the Customer ASAP
As soon as you receive that dreaded negative review, what you want to do immediately is find out who it is if anonymous, and contact them as soon as possible.
2. Try to Make it Right
When contacting your customer, offer the world. They complained online they didn’t get an item at a promised cost? Well, no they do. Offer them a free month or free service. That’s not good enough for them? Offer them two. Do whatever you can to make this customer happy again. Make an honest effort to do the right thing. Let them know customer experience is incredibly important to you and you want to rectify the situation.
3. Reply to the Review
After you’ve contacted the customer and settled the problem, or waited a respectable amount of time for a response from one, reply to the review. Most review sites allow the compnay to weigh in on their reviews so use this to your advantage.
But with the negative ones, you want to reply with a detailed response to the situation. Here’s some examples of various responses to different negative reviews, including a positive one for comparison. Make note of the very last example. This deals with negative reviews that aren’t specific, seem to be so general that you can’t verify who it could be or even why they are unhappy. Sometimes these may just be jokers or spammers. Don’t let that take you down.
Positive Review Company Response
We appreciate the great review and agree. Joe Nobody is a consummate professional who knows our product and truly cares about sharing that knowledge with our customers. He aims to make sure you, the customer, is well informed before making any decisions. Thank you for the feedback as well as being a loyal customer!
Negative Review- Trying to Reach Out (No name) Company Response
I am the Director of Company Name. Let me start by apologizing for your poor experience. I would like to find a way to make it up to you and I would also like to better understand what happened. I hope I can teach my team how to fix our processes so we don’t repeat this mistake with another customer. Although, this is far from characteristic, we always strive to exceed expectations and we are very disappointed in ourselves that we fell short of this in your case. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.
Negative Review - Resolution Reached Company Response
We apologize for Mr. Person’s dissatisfaction but are pleased to say at this time we have come to a resolution of this matter. We appreciate any reviews so that we know what we are doing right, as well as what is wrong so we can change that.
Negative Review - No Response from Customer Company Response
We are so sorry for the unpleasant experience this customer has experienced. We made several attempts at reaching this customer to no avail. We do not believe in writing off our bad reviews. We want to turn each negative experience into a positive one that earns us a second chance. We do hope this customer will reach out to us and allow us to make a personal apology as well as offer a satisfactory resolution. Thank you for your feedback.
Negative Review - Spam/Unable to Legitimize Company Response
We apologize for this customers poor experience. We have made several attempts at gathering more information on the customer's experience to no avail. At this time, we are unable to say for sure that is a legitimate review. We do hope that if our presumption is wrong the customer can contact us by phone or email with further details. Without any specific information at all, we are unable to comment further on their unfortunate experience. Please feel free to contact us at which time we will amend this review to reflect the circumstances. Thank you for your feedback. We hope to hear from you.
4. Ask the Customer to Edit the Review
Never ask your customer to take down their review. Your only motive in reaching a resolution with them at that point will just seem to have been the removal of the review, and not the customer relationship. Most review sites allow further discussion on a review so make sure the customer knows that. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind, just adding an additional comment to the review that we made things right on our end.
Always be careful with how you phrase it. Don’t say it in a way that makes it seem your gesture to make them happy is only in exchange for an update to the review. Tread lightly. However, don’t be afraid to ask in the right way.
Following these steps will turn your negative reviews into positives. I don’t think any customer researches a company thinking “I’ll chose the company with all positive reviews. If they have a negative one out there, I’m out.” Like I said, so many reasons someone has a poor experience. Not everyone is your fault. Don’t be afraid to say it.
A customer viewing your review page can see 2 negatives right on top of the page. If you replied like my examples above, the customer will see a company that isn’t perfect but when a customer is unhappy for whatever reason they do two major things. The first is they monitor customer feedback and reply right away and the second is they rectify the situation. As a customer they think they have nothing to fear, because if they do chose you and it goes south, they know you’ll do the right thing to make things better.
This can be a powerful tool. Use it.