Negative reviews sound ominous but do you realize that bad reviews do not necessarily reflect the way you do business but can be used to improve your product/services? The fact is negative reviews are not that difficult to handle – but without a doubt, they have to be addressed. Here’s why:
- Over 83% of consumers prefer to trust reviews than personal recommendations
- If a consumer likes how he or she was treated, a review will be given willingly
- Majority of buyers check reviews first before spending, however, if the reviews were posted over 3 months ago, buyers lose interest and consider the reviews irrelevant
- Over 50% trust star ratings
First of all, never argue or challenge the person. Reviews are about emotions and feelings; personal experiences and negative reviews are often done impulsively or in anger or frustration. It would achieve nothing to start a debate. Do not take it personally. Learn to look at all reviews objectively.
- Allow emotions to cool down but do make an effort to reply as graciously as possible.
- Have standard replies to negative reviews such as “I am sorry to hear about your experience. Allow me to look into the incident and get back to you as soon as possible.”
Second, accept that you’re not alone. Every business receives negative reviews. The successful entrepreneur knows how to handle it with diplomacy while the hot-headed business owner ends up losing customers.
Third, do find out more about what happened and make it a point to get back to the customer with a more knowledgeable response. If your employee was at fault, admit it and offer a special freebie for the inconvenience. If you are not in a position yet to give away freebies or discounts, then the best you can do is give your sincere apologies.