How To Respond On Negative Online Reviews

Tips for Responding to Negative Reviews

If you have a business, no matter if it’s small or big, you should know that it’s impossible to avoid negative reviews or comments completely. There will always be that one customer who is unsatisfied with a particular product or service you provided to him/her; there was that one mistake you did and now is haunting you.

Besides the effect that such a review has on you when you read it – because no one likes to be criticized – there is a much more significant aspect you should consider. The success of your business can be affected by this type of feedback, because other current or potential clients may see the negative review, and then decide to look for the same product or service somewhere else. If you think that not many customers do research about an item before purchasing it, we have bad news for you. A recent study published by Cone Communications shows that four out of five clients changed their mind and decided not to buy a product, only because they read negative reviews on the Internet. Therefore, this is a serious issue.

Hiding from negative reviews is not something you can do. But you can learn to respond to negative feedback so that you can even take advantage of it. Read further to find out a few essential tips that can help you to use these comments in your favor.

  • Never respond in a negative way

Of course, you are bothered by the bad review you just read. This is a normal reaction. Still, you should not start writing anything that crosses your mind, in a disrespectful manner. All you’ll do it to worsen the situation. So breathe in and calm down first, then answer. Staying positive is one of the keys to success when it comes to a response to a bad review. According to Shama Kabani, writer of “The Zen of Social Media Marketing”, negative feedback can be turned into positive feedback if you opt for the right approach.

Yot can look up for examples of responses to negative reviews online, and notice the tone and style used there. You have to keep it professional and be diplomatic, and avoid accusing the customer.

  • Understand the complaint

It is important to understand exactly what made the customer angry or unsatisfied. Some of the complaints posted online are not at all legit, while others are valid. Why do you have to know what happen? Because this aspect will dictate the course of your further actions, in order to solve the problem.

  • Make a plan first, then respond

So, you read the negative comment, calmed down, and figured out the problem. But how do you do response? You need to make a plan. According to Mike Blumenthal, author of “Responding to Negative Reviews – Your Prospects Are the Real Audience”, before you start writing, you need to mention three things. First of all, you should own the problem, explain that future clients will not have to deal with this issue anymore, and then, offer to resolve the problem.

  • Personalize your response

When you decide to handle the situation, don’t just take a sample response to negative feedback and copy-paste it, adding just a few concrete details. First of all, in order to be convincing for the unsatisfied customer and the others who read the negative review, you must personalize your response.

Also, avoid to create a pattern for each recurring issue and then copy-paste this one to each client, even though it is written by yourself or one of your employees. You can use this as a model, but take your time to reply each client separately.

  • Understand what tools you can use

As it was mentioned at the beginning of the article, you can’t avoid negative comments. But you can get rid of many of them. Responding to negative reviews is one way to solve the problem, but when this doesn’t work, you should be aware of the tools you can use. If you are the owner of the website or blog, you can remove a negative feedback. Or, you can send a request to the webmaster of other platforms where the customer posted, and ask them to do this for you.

After you have solved a complaint, you can ask the customer to remove or edit their bad review. However, you should know that some sites do not allow this, such as Yelp. But many others do, so take advantage of this option.