Responding to negative reviews can be stressful as a business owner. No one likes to get negative reviews, but it is bound to happen sometime. If you don’t respond quickly, you could lose the customer who wrote the evaluation as well as other potential customers that read the review. 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to bad reviews within a week. Yet, 63% of customers say that of the reviews they have written, they’ve never received a response from a business. If you do not respond, it can leave customers feeling unheard, unappreciated, and frustrated. Thankfully, there is a great alternative.
Respond to Negative Reviews
One reason you should read and respond to reviews is to learn from mistakes. As you listen to the people buying your product or service, you may see things that need to be changed in your business or your product to prevent future unsatisfied customers.
You could also turn an unsatisfied customer into a loyal one, for life. 45% of people say they are more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews. They see that you care about their experience with your product or service. Answering and taking responsibility also tells them that if something goes wrong, you will make it right.
Improve your SEO
Responding to reviews, both good and bad, will help you serve your customers well and improve your SEO. Google even says so! They also recommend encouraging customers to leave feedback by creating a link to where they can write a review. All review platforms can help your SEO, and responses only help you to build trust.
How should you respond to a negative review?
Use the 3 Ps. Be:
Never argue with the customer. It won’t help you to regain their business and will put other customers off when they read about it online. Instead, thank the customer for taking the time to review your business. Acknowledge the issue and offer to work out a solution offline. Once you have solved the problem, you can write a brief comment online to share how you handled it.
Don’t copy/paste your response. A canned response to everyone can be tempting to do to save time, but it is crucial to personalize your message. Your clientele will respect the personal touch and deserve it. Also, if your message is canned, your audience will smell it from a mile away. No one likes insincerity.
What About Fake Negative Reviews?
These are sometimes posted by “trolls.” The poster could be a stranger, a competitor, or even someone you know who is trying to cause trouble for you. If someone has written a misleading, false review, you can request the website to remove it. The process for this will be different from one site to the next, so you will have to ask the site administrator for some guidance if you can’t find it in the help section.
Why not ask for all the negative reviews to be removed?
Legitimate reviews should be left up and responded to constructively. It is how you build relationships with customers. Also, a few negative reviews amidst many four, and 5-star reviews add authenticity to your brand. Have you ever seen a product with no bad reviews? It seems unreal and can cause people to question whether the positive reviews are even legitimate.
Instead, always offer to make it right.
Making things right might mean replacing the item, giving their money back, or working out another resolution appropriate to the situation.
Your response isn’t just for the reviewer. It’s for everyone who reads the review. If you resolve the issue well, and the customer is happy, you can even ask them to write a testimonial to share online.