How to Respond (Politely) to Negative Reviews Online
Negative reviews can be crippling to any business especially if the business is still fairly young. These negative reviews damage the reputation of the business. It is even more damaging if the business doesn’t respond to these negative reviews. Dealing with negative reviews is not as hard as you’d expect, you may even use them as a marketing and branding opportunity.
A business can’t ignore negative reviews as you won’t be addressing the reviewer. Everyone who looks at the business’ review is part of the audience. Addressing the negative review is an opportunity to make things right. For instance, if one of your customers raised a complaint in person, the business will try to right the wrong. This same approach should be used for online reviews.
Responding to negative reviews shows your audience that your business is not shady and doesn’t neglect customer feedback. It also shows your target audience that the business will take steps to ensure that no other customer goes through the same ordeal.
In order to salvage your business’ reputation, it is critical that you respond to a negative review quickly and strategically. Below is a simple guideline on how your business should respond to the negative review in a polite and respectful manner.
A Guide for Responding to Negative Reviews
You Should Apologize and Sympathize With the Person Who Left the Negative Review.
All businesses operate under the mantra “the customer is always right”. Going by this, acknowledge the customer’s concerns no matter how unfounded and false they are. Show them that you are sorry that they had a bad experience by using your services or products.
Employ Some Marketing Elements in Your Response
Use language that other customers will relate to their experiences. Acknowledge the shortcomings that led to the customer’s bad experience. An example of such a response is “our business is well known for enhancing our customers’ experience by paying close attention to detail. We are extremely sorry that we overlooked that detail in our dealings with you.”
Move the Conversation Offline
If the person is being difficult, provide them with your business or representative contact information so that they can discuss the problem. This will help you limit the damage your business is getting if the person is being unreasonable. It is important to remember that negative scenarios will linger longer on the other customers.
Keep Your Response Short and Simple
While addressing the negative review, don’t offer the reviewer with too much information and don’t counter their queries with questions. This will make the customer feel like they are being attacked. They will go on the defensive and might cause them to leave more negative reviews. They might also use the information you give them to raise more unfounded accusations that will further damage your reputation. Limit your responses to three or fewer sentences and employ the use of respectful language.
By sticking to this simple and detailed guideline, you will be able to navigate responding to negative reviews and comments.