How To Respond To Negative Reviews

First off, we want you to know that negative reviews happen to all businesses. As long as you deal with different kinds of customers, some are bound to be dissatisfied. It’s just human nature – and often, the poor feedback is more a reflection of the reviewer than it is about you. So, cheer up!
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Have you gotten a negative review despite doing a great job? Now, you are worried – or maybe upset – that it would affect your business. But would it? More importantly, you wonder, how to respond to negative reviews.

First off, we want you to know that negative reviews happen to all businesses. As long as you deal with different kinds of customers, some are bound to be dissatisfied. It’s just human nature – and often, the poor feedback is more a reflection of the reviewer than it is about you. So, cheer up!

Secondly, negative feedback will only affect your business when you leave them unanswered. In other words, they don’t always mean doom for your business. Huh? In fact, according to research, 70% of consumers are more likely to use a business that responds in a professional manner to negative reviews.

Yes, you can turn the sour atmosphere around and take charge of any poor feedback. As a professional reputation management agency, we have found that approach to be the way out.

So, how can you turn a negative review to your advantage? The tips in this article will help!

how to respond to negative reviews

Managing Negative Reviews The Right Way

By strategically managing negative reviews, you can actually shine a light on how you manage customer experiences for prospective customers reading your reviews.

Calm Your Emotions

You are probably upset about a negative review – and rightly so because some of them can be harsh. Even at that, we will advise you to calm your emotions. Do not take a defensive, “you’re wrong” tone. As much as you want to reply immediately and fire for fire, don’t. Instead, stay away from your keyboard awhile, chill off and then ruminate on what you’d say.

So, what would you say?

Start With Thank You

Yes, it makes sense for responding to positive reviews and we understand that “thank you” is the last thing you want to say right now. But, it is the right thing; appreciate all reviews regardless of the number of stars. And when you do, ensure you address the reviewer by their name.

Sympathize With The Customer

You should say sorry but don’t be too apologetic – that can be a turn-off to your prospective clients. Instead, sympathize from a position of strength and care. Explain how much it bothers you that the customer got less satisfaction than he wanted. Try as much as possible to be sweet and brief.

Assume Responsibility For The Customer Experience

The experience might not even be your fault. It could even be that the customer isn’t patient enough to check the results of your work. Regardless, own the error and acknowledge the negative review. That is the only way you’ll manage the atmosphere to reassure everyone reading of your professionalism and standards.

how to respond to negative reviews

Make Amends

After re-establishing your high standards, ask the dissatisfied customer for a second chance. Explain how you’d make up for the experience – but make it brief and straightforward. More importantly, don’t make excuses – make amends instead and do it fast!

And, if you have already made some amends before your response to the review, include that in the message. Also, take the conversation offline (include your contact information) as early as possible to avoid further damage. Besides, such an act will ultimately show onlookers that you walk your talk.

Pro tip: don’t upsell when replying to negative reviews. More importantly, don’t add any keywords to the responses – focus on the customer.

Now, let’s show you an example of how the tips work!

A Practical Example Of How To Respond To Negative Reviews

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Hi Renee,

Thanks for trying our services at Delta Airlines. We apologize for the delay experienced in your area. We would appreciate it if you could tell us the exact location and flight number via our contact info [phone number] so we can update you personally.

As always, we are committed to helping our customers get to their destinations safely, comfortably, and fast!

That response sounds reassuring, eh? That’s how to manage negative reviews. But if you are unsure about how best to handle them yet, we can help you. Check our reputation management solution today!

I hope you found this article informative. 

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