How To Respond To Negative Business Reviews?
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Have you recently received your first negative business review and are wondering how you should respond?
Even though it can be tempting to react straight away to avoid new potential customers getting only one side of the story, taking a few moments to craft your response is important.
After all, online reviews are everything these days, with 98% of Australian consumers reading online reviews before purchasing something!
Fail to respond in a compelling way, and your negative review or reviews could tarnish your brand reputation and impact your sales.
On the other hand, a study has shown that responding to online reviews the right way can boost your overall positive ratings! That’s because consumers are human and will appreciate empathetic customer service responses showing a genuine brand commitment to improving customers’ experiences.
So, here are three tips to help you turn your negative review into a positive outcome.
Responding To Negative Reviews
Always Respond In A Positive Way
As a business owner, when a customer leaves a bad review about your services, products or company in general, it can be hurtful. After all, you’ve put your heart and soul into starting your company and seeing that some people don’t appreciate the value you provide can feel unfair.
But remember that you can’t please everyone.
So, if you receive a negative review, always respond in a positive way and let the user or customer know that you appreciate their feedback and will be working hard to improve their experience for next time. You can also highlight what you’ll do to fix the issue.
Also, if you disagree with their comment, keep the message positive while explaining why you disagree and how your services or products meet their needs.
Personalise Your Response
Sure, having a template to respond to negative business reviews can save you time. And if you have delegated the task of responding to business reviews to a dedicated employee, it will make it easier for them to answer exactly the way you would like them to.
Yet, this might not be the best course of action because it will feel scripted and show a lack of empathy and care.
For instance, if the negative review is constructive feedback that can help you improve as a business, you should escalate that to the appropriate person and respond to the review in a personal way, letting the person know that you’ve shared their feedback with the relevant department. This will make them feel heard and show potential customers their satisfaction is your priority. After all, this type of feedback is very powerful because it can help you tweak, refine and improve your offer and provide a better customer experience overall!
If the employees name shows up on the address to the reviewer. You should also use the pronoun “I” when responding and include the manager’s name to make it more personal and show that you’re taking the feedback seriously.
Apologise And Show Empathy
When a reviewer leaves a bad review, most of the time, they’ll appreciate an apology. So, even if it’s not your fault, always apologise in your answer to show you empathise.
Not only is this a good way to try and establish trust between you and the reviewer, but it also shows potential customers the human side of your company. 90% of consumers want brands to be authentic, which means that they aren’t expecting you to be perfect. Instead, they want to hear from the real people beyond the brand.
You should keep your apology short, saying things along the lines of “we set a high standard for ourselves, and we’re sorry to hear that we didn’t meet your expectations. "This is on us” or ''we sincerely apologise that our service or product didn’t meet your expectations''.
Also, while you should always apologise for their bad experience, don’t apologise for things that aren’t your fault or true. Instead, highlight what truly happened in detail, showing the review readers the other side of the story. Being thorough in your response will add credibility to your response. Never argue though, you can always respond with "We're sorry that this has happened, would you like to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this issue further?". Avoid arguing in public, it never looks good.
Step-By-Step Method To Answer Negative Reviews
In addition to these three tips, here’s a step-by-step method to answer negative business reviews:
- Aim at responding within 24 hours
- Speak to anyone else in the business that you need to about the review before drafting your response
- Acknowledge the complaint and thank the reviewer for their feedback
- Apologise and take responsibility
- Provide an explanation if necessary
- Take the discussion off-line
- Make things right with the customer
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While you can’t control online reviews, you can protect your business against costly claims and legal fees. Whether you operate in the fitness, home improvement, cleaning or nursing industry, starting your own business comes with risks.
At upcover, our job is to help mitigate them by providing an instant quote generator where you can get an estimate on market-leading insurance in seconds. Simply enter your occupation and expected revenue to get started.
This way, you don’t have to spend precious time scouring insurance providers and can focus on growing your business with your team.