Receiving negative reviews online opens the floodgates of emotions. And responding to a negative review online can empty you of all emotions. As a business owner, you must respond to negative reviews then try to keep unhappy customers. Sometimes business owners feel helpless in responding to negative reviews. Don't fret; this post will show you how to respond to negative reviews online.
How a Negative Review Loses Customers
If you get upset about customers leaving feedback that seems unfair, you're human. But keep in this in mind, BrightLocal said that negative reviews stop 40% of buyers wanting to use a business.
Say, you're looking for the landscaper you follow on Instagram. You like their designs, and you think about hiring them for some work in our yard.
You search for the business on Google, and on the search results, you see their Yelp rating: 1 out 5 stars. Holy guacamole!
You decide to read some of the reviews. One reviewer said that the landscaper did some damage to his home with a backhoe. He also said that his workers were rude. He noted that the landscaper was unresponsive to his calls. He went on to say that he'll never work with that business again.
Why Responding to Negative Reviews Matters
You can't let negative reviews fester on major review sites without a response. Not responding has a snowball effect. If you leave it alone, it builds like a snowball rolling down. Eventually, the snowball becomes so large that it destroys your business.
BrighLocal asked consumers, "When searching for a local business, do you read businesses' responses to their customers' reviews?" The key results were:
- 89% of consumers read local businesses' responses to reviews.
- 29% always read review responses.
- 96% of 18-34-year-olds read review responses.
As you can see, consumers read your response. As a result, customers will listen to you. Responding to a negative review provides healthy emotional release and professionalism. Also, it gives you a chance to fix a problem.
If you don't respond potential buyers will:
- Think the review is 100% true.
- Believe you don't care about your customers. Especially if you fail to try to resolve a bad experience
- Feel that you don't care about your reputation
Here are 3 Ways to Handle Negative Online Reviews
As mentioned above, negative online reviews create strong emotions. But remember, negative reviews provide opportunities for your business to fix a problem. Here's how to respond to negative reviews.
1. Recognize the person and situation
Customers like knowing you're listening to them. Say their first name and say that you're thankful for them telling you about the problem.
Example: Marsha, thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience.
2. State that excellent service is your top priority
Tell your customers and readers that excellent service is your number one priority. Also, let them know that their experience wasn't how you do business.
Example: Customer service is a top priority for us. I'm disappointed to learn that you had anything less than stellar experience with us.
3. Go offline
You can invite the reviewer to talk with you one on one. This act of kindness could go a long way towards resolving the issue. It also works towards regaining the trust of your customers. To let them know you're serious, include your company phone number in your response.
Example: To discuss this matter in more detail, please give me a call at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Thank you again for your honest feedback, and we look forward to hearing from you.
You know, much of the time, people only want to feel heard. Knowing how to respond to negative reviews online can give you peace of mind. And sometimes they'll take down the review after you resolved their frustrations.
There's not one business in the world who hasn't gotten a negative review. Your business may have 100's of positive reviews, but it only takes one to ruin your mojo. You can't please all your customers. By responding to a negative review, you only have to satisfy 40% of customers. All you can do is work towards providing the best experience for your next customer.
If you need help with how to respond to negative reviews online, ThumbsYup could help you. It's a platform that makes requesting, receiving, and managing reviews simple. It also encourages private communication with your customers.