How to Respond to Negative Reviews (and why you should!)
Most business owners would like to ignore negative reviews. Even if you think the reviewer is 100% wrong, it's important to respond to reviews. Here are some reasons why you should respond and some tips on how to respond.
Why you should respond to negative reviews:
First of all, you're not just responding to that one reviewer; you're speaking to anyone who comes across that review. So keep in mind that a future potential customer will be putting themselves in the reviewer's shoes, not yours. How you respond will give a potential customer some insight into how they'll be treated in similar circumstances.
Replying shows potential customers that you don't ignore feedback and you take steps to make things right. Nobody is perfect so own your mistakes and do what you can to make things right.
Even if you think that customer's perspective isn't 100% accurate, remember the old adage that the customer is always right . . . that goes double when it comes to responding to a negative review because every future customer will be listening.
How to respond to negative reviews:
Apologize and sympathize in your response. You want to acknowledge the customer’s concerns, even if you think they are unfounded. Remember, it's not about who is right. You want to show sympathy that they had a bad experience. "I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience."
Add a little marketing in your response. For example, explain what your customers usually experience. "We're normally known for our exceptional attention to detail, and we regret that we missed the mark."
Keep your response short and sweet. Don't go into too much detail or ask questions because this can upset the customer who may then add more negative feedback.
Then finally, move the conversation offline. Provide contact info with someone at the business so they can discuss the problem in person. (Note: don't include the business name or keywords in your response . . . you don't want it showing up in search results!)
Getting rid of negative reviews:
If you think a review is in violation of the rules of that review site, contact the review site and discuss your concerns. They're not going to remove a review just because you don't like it, but they do have rules about what is and isn't acceptable.
If you've been able to resolve the situation with a customer, you can ask them to remove the negative review or update it. Odds are they won't take the time, but it doesn't hurt to ask if you've turned things around.
And finally, the best way to minimize the impact of negative reviews is to focus on getting good ones.
It is tough to get happy customers to take the time to give you a great review. Our Brand Manager™ software can help.