No matter how much effort you put into your business and products, negative responses are bound to come up. As much as you hope for receiving only praise, the opinions of your customers will differ. Every business has to face negative reviews, but the question is how will you face them?
The way you handle such situations can determine your business’s reputation and your relationship with the clients. Considering that dealing with negative reviews can lead to some unwanted conflict, you should be very careful about your approach. The following tips will teach you how to turn negative feedback into an opportunity for business growth and strong customer service.
Why should you respond to negative feedback?
The UK internet traffic is expected to triple until 2020. Therefore, it is quite clear that people resort to online sources for information, including those about your business.
Negative reviews can have a huge influence on potential customers. According to The UK Domain, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
If you stay silent about negative reviews, you’ll show carelessness towards your customers.
Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. As a matter of fact, it will only make it even worse. Not responding to people’s dissatisfaction can be interpreted like you’re validating their accusations.
Being professional and dealing with an unpleasant situation will prevent you from losing clients.
Respond to the feedback publicly
Writing directly to the customer won’t help the other users see that you care about your customers.
Always make a public reply to the comment. If you want to discuss the problem in more detail write something like this:
“Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. We are sorry that you weren’t satisfied with our product, so we have sent you a private message to offer a solution.”
You can also encourage the customers to contact you for further information as Pizza Express did on their Facebook page.
Address the issues timely
It is crucial that you address negative feedback as soon as possible. Letting it linger will only make the customer feel ignored.
However, if you are affected by the comment, allow yourself to cool down first. Remember that no matter what the customer wrote, you need to stay professional.
Once you are ready to reply in an appropriate matter, it is time to deal with the situation head-on.
Start with an apology
Whether you find the remark to be justified or not you should always offer an apology.
If you find the comment to be untruthful simply state: “We are sorry that you feel this way. However, the responses by other customers prove that the product has the same qualities as described. Our team has made sure that we provide a product you expect to receive.”
In case the customer is right and you did have some drawbacks in your service, you should also apologies but respond in a different matter.
Offer an explanation
Your customers deserve an explanation about the inconvenience.
Even if it was your business’s mistake, providing them with a reasonable explanation can help you sort everything out.
“Openly communicating with customers about their negative experiences with your business can actually be good for marketing. This allows you to clarify any misunderstandings about your products and offer solutions for any problems. With some smart moves and clever responses you can improve your brand’s reputation” — explains Anna Fender, a PR manager at Top Writers Review.
Saying “I’m sorry” won’t do the trick. You need to provide a solid reason for the customer’s troubles like The Landmark London did:
Look at the overall customers’ experiences about that product
If similar negative reviews keep repeating this is a signal that the problem isn’t the customer but the product.
For example, if several customers made a remark that the colour of the product isn’t the same as in pictures, they are probably speaking truthfully. In that case, you should work on fixing the problem. Take some better pictures and replace the old ones. In addition, apologize to the customers and ensure them that the problem is taken care of.
Their complaints can even be about something more serious. If customers keep repeating that the product doesn’t work, consider taking it off from the market and testing it again.
On the other hand, if you find one negative remark such as “I hate this product” in the sea of positive ones, you shouldn’t stress about it. Unfortunately, some people complain just for the sake of complaining.
Strategically responding to negative reviews can actually serve as a marketing tool. Try to understand how your customers perceive your business and use your responses to improve your brand’s image. Just by applying these simple tips, negative feedback can work in your favour.