Whether you’re responding to negative reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook or Amazon. In today’s highly digital, super transparent society, simply ignoring a bad review is no longer an option. In fact, it can actually make matters worse. But just responding in itself isn’t enough. What you say, how you say it and even when you post that response all matter, too.
Follow our Step-by-Step Guide to Respond to Negative Reviews.
1. Reply, and reply quickly:
The customer thought it was important enough to post a public review, so treat it as urgent. Respond quickly, show that you’re in tune with customer feedback and that you’re an active participant in your business.
2. Thank them for the review:
If a customer wants to be heard and respected. Starting off your reply with a thank you will accomplish this. Besides, this review may present an opportunity for your company to improve.
3. Validate their feelings:
Don’t try to dismiss their complaints or diminish their experience. Let them know they have the right to feel dissatisfied. Saying that you understand and appreciate their feedback lets the customer know that you care.
4. Keep it polite:
It’s important to take the high road when responding to negative reviews. Even if a customer posts a low-blow, try to keep your response polite, civil and aimed at the problem at hand.
5. Be authentic:
Customers want to know it’s an actual human responding to them — not a Bot or IFTTT mechanism. Try to be as authentic as possible in your replies, and keep the marketing speak and jargon out of the equation.
6. Don’t get upset and lash out:
Responding to a negative review with a defensive or angry outburst only makes things worse. Other customers will see an angry response from a business as proof that the negative review is warranted. So take a deep breath and only respond when you are calm and collected. If need be, pass off the task of responding to the negative reviews to someone on your staff who is great at customer service.
7. Choose the best way to respond to each negative review:
There are three choices you can make when responding to a negative review: flag it for inappropriate content, ignore it, or respond to it:
Flagging Inappropriate Reviews: If a review is full of profanity or hateful speech, particularly if it’s racist, xenophobic, or otherwise prejudicial, it most likely violates the terms of whatever review site it’s on.
Ignoring Irrational Reviews. Sometimes a review doesn’t violate the review site’s terms but is purposely mean-spirited without offering any substantive critiques as to why the customer is upset.
Responding to Negative Reviews. If a customer posts a negative review and explains the reasoning behind their negative review, it’s a good idea to respond to it, whether you agree with the critique or not.
8. Make it Right by Doing Apologize:
If a Customer who have a bad experience at a business are just as likely to leave a negative online review as they are to ask to speak to a manager. That being the case, it’s important to treat this as a customer service issue and post a public reply to negative reviews quickly.