1. Be grateful
While positive reviews motivate you to maintain your reputation, negative feedback can help you reveal all the weaknesses and gaps of your business and start working even harder. That is why, when the customer is sharing what they didn’t like about your products/services and their standpoint is well-reasoned, treat them like your best friend, because:
The majority of people would stay silent about the bad service - they would simply choose not to be your customer anymore. Criticism should be listened to and heard – be grateful to the one who criticizes you, as they point out your mistakes and are not afraid to talk openly about them.
2. Give timely responses
Don’t make the customer who has left their negative review on your website or your corporate page wait too long for your answer. Your reaction is expected within an hour after the comment has been left. Thoroughly analyze the message and draft your response. Make sure your answer is respectful and doesn’t contain any sign of anger, blame or frustration. No matter the situation, your feedback should contain apologies, as the expectations of the customer haven’t been met and their experience has been negative. If applicable, offer some bonuses or special deals to smooth things over.
Customers like the feeling of being important, and their opinion matters. So, don’t make them wait for too long.
3. Take the matter offline
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respond to the negative review in public. However, your response should be as accurate and brief as possible. Try to find ways to contact the person privately – via email or by phone. In such a way, you will demonstrate respect to their opinion and your willingness to remedy the matter. While communicating with the customer tête-à-tête, be as polite as you can, provide as much information as possible, and offer the most favorable compensation which would make the customer feel better and change their opinion about your business.
4. Give customized feedback to the reviews
There is nothing worse than the automatic responses given to all the reviews no matter their message. Except perhaps not giving response at all. While drafting your answer to the customer, re-read their comment again, define the main points of their complaint and answer each of them step by step. Don’t prove the person to be wrong and don’t make excuses. Express empathy and try to put yourself into customer’s shoes. Even if you are 100% sure the customer’s blames make no sense and it is impossible to come up with any correct solution, you can always stay emphatic. Develop your emotional intelligence to always remain cool, calm, caring, and be able to understand the feelings of another person better.
If you were wrong, it’s a must. If you were right, apologize anyway. The person has had a bad experience with your service or product, and you have been a reason for that. Your apology deserves to be at least heard. Make your regretful acknowledgment sincere and don’t use clichés. Each case is unique and should be considered individually.
6. Ask to reconsider the feedback
In case the situation is already solved and the customer is totally satisfied, you are free to ask to eliminate the bad review or at least replace it with the positive one. This is a normal practice, as you have undertaken effort to work things out. So, you don’t deserve some outdated feedback ruin your reputation.
Now that you know about all your weaknesses, don’t waste your time and proceed to action. Write down all the drawbacks and try to find a solution to each of them. Search for some useful articles and recommendations from the experts in your sphere, read the tips on how to make your brand more effective and recognizable, or attend relevant business courses. Alternatively, you can talk to the competitors and try to surf the Internet looking for some useful online tools that would help you in your business. Luckily, nowadays there are plenty of them.
For example, when we talk about business failures on Amazon, there is an IOScout tool ready to help. This online product tracker and finder discovers the latest analytics on products offered on Amazon, finds the data on the modern trends and delivers meaningful insights. Being a powerful platform for marketing purposes, this tool has a huge number of features. Therefore, you will be able to find the one which would be extremely handy for your business niche.
If the negative reviews deflate you enormously, it’s high time to start treating them positively. In the majority of cases, they will contribute to your professional growth. Of course, many of them will be just fakes written by your competitors and enviers. But instead of letting yourself get into despair, focus on the ways of your business development. All you need to do for this is just follow recommendations from this guide and treat every situation as another opportunity for enhancement.