How Do You Deal with Negative Online Reviews?
You can do everything right for the customer, from the introductory handshake through to delivery and follow-up.
Everything seems perfect…until they leave a scathing review online. It comes totally out of left field and catches you by surprise.
Today’s retail industry sees it a lot. Shoppers complete their purchase with a smile on their face. Then, when they get home, they vent any misgivings or negative experiences with the rest of the world. Their online review I posted for everyone to see: your staff, your current clients, and any potential customers that check you out on the web.
The term for it is e-thug.
They are pleasant in public but love to air their grievances in front of everyone else online instead of with you directly.
Not every negative review is from an e-thug; some are genuinely unhappy customers who want to tell their experience. Nonetheless, how you deal with negative reviews online is all about you, and nothing to do with the actual review poster.
Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews
Letting negative reviews stand without a response is like an admission of guilt, whether it’s an accurate review or not. There’s a way to turn that review into a positive light for anyone that sees it, and all it takes is a well-phrased response.
• Acknowledge the poster’s feelings. Tell them you’re sorry they feel the way they do. Whether they’ve responded appropriately to their situation or not, how they feel doesn’t change.
• Remain open and polite. Address the concern by name, whether it was poor service, high prices, or otherwise. A very specific response does wonders.
• Offer an avenue to resolution. Request that the reviewer calls or visits someone specifically so their concern can be resolved.
It’s unrealistic to make everyone happy. Deleting or reporting negative reviews may not help as much as you think. Customers are willing to look past negative reviews and see how you responded before making any decisions. But if you have bad reviews stacking up online, you might have other issues to address…