The way you handle those negative business reviews will define the course of your company’s future, whether online or offline.
To underline the importance of confronting negative reviews in the right way, keep in mind that 84% of people consider reviews to be as important as recommendations from friends.
By addressing negative reviews, you can prevent the beginning of a negative reputation and you can even turn an unhappy customer into a loyal customer.
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Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews (They Won’t Go Away on Their Own)
Ignoring a negative review you’ve received from a specific person comes with two types of negative consequences.
The first problem is that you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to correct the situation. This is like leaving money on the table.
The second problem you have is that bystanders will look at you as a business that doesn’t care. You’re not communicating with your customers. It leaves an impression, even if it’s on a social media platform where nobody comments on reviews.
Apologize Even if it’s Unwarranted
Negative reviews can be unfounded. But it doesn’t matter if the customer is wrong because remember that the customer is always right. You’re always at fault and you must accept that the customer didn’t get the experience they wanted.
Always start out by apologizing as soon as you can. Be specific about what you’re sorry about even if you think the person is a troublemaker.
Ask for More Information
Don’t just apologize to the person who had a negative experience. Ask for further details and request that they provide a suggestion as to how you can increase your level of service going forward.
Continuing the dialogue takes the emotion out of the equation. Many negative comments are left in a moment of anger. Sending them a message back signals a civil conversation where you can really make a difference.
The sort of information you get back from that person could be all you need to revolutionize your business. So many companies simply don’t make changes because they’re unaware of what their problems are.
Give Something Back
It may kill you to want to reward someone who’s tried to smear your good reputation, but this is how you win loyal customers going forward.
Offer them something to win back their trust. It could be a replacement product, or it could be a major discount on their next purchase. If it’s relevant to the problem, few people are going to want to pass up an offer like that.
Last Word – Will it Always Work?
The best-case scenario is that the customer gives you another chance and you turn them into a customer. But in a lot of cases, it’s not going to happen this way. The point is that you tried.
Those extra minutes spent reaching out to negative reviewers are worth it, even if you only convert less than 10% of the number. Keep mind when responding publicly to negative reviews other potentials customers will see how far you were willing to go to accommodate someone who didn’t have the experience they expected. It will say a lot about your company.
Don’t leave money on the table. Win those customers back. Are you having problems with negative comments from past customers? Are you ready to remove online reviews together.