One star. Two thumbs down. Ecommerce business owners know that when it comes to online reviews, negative reviews are a headache and a half. 88% of shoppers utilize online customer reviews. Scathing reviews can seriously damage your sales and reputation. It is impossible to satisfy every customer you encounter, but you can handle a negative review in a way that positively affects your business. Our team at ecomdash has some positively awesome tips for how to manage a negative reviews.
Tip #1 – Respond Quickly
Respond within 24 hours. Getting back to a customer quickly gives the impression that you care for their patronage. Customers value quick responses so much, one study shows 33% of customers will recommend a company that provides fast responses, even if the response was ineffective. We know you plan on being both prompt and effective though. This just shows how heavily customers value speedy response times.
Tip #2 – Make It Private
You should absolutely respond to public complaints in a public manner. However, be sure to reach out to the customers privately as well. Sending a private message can help in the verification process to prove that the complaint was from a real customer. Review websites such as Yelp allow businesses to send private emails to their reviewers to resolve an issue. You can also ask the customer to call you to settle the complaint over the phone.
Tip #3 – Keep It Positive
When posting negative reviews, customers might be angry or condescending. You cannot match that energy as a business entity. Remember: everyone is watching. You can’t lose your cool. Treat upset customers with respect even if they aren’t doing the same for you. Studies have shown that 70% of a customer’s perception of their buying experience is based on how they feel they were treated. If a customer feels as though their complaints were met with hostility, the likelihood of them ever buying from you again can dwindle down to zero.
Tip #4 – Be Accountable
When you receive a bad review, you want to believe the situation is an isolated incident. But what if you are receiving the same bad review from different people? If you notice a pattern, analyze your internal business operations and decide if a change needs to be made. It’s not easy to look at yourself and acknowledge your flaws. Put a positive spin on it This is a growth exercise you won’t have to pay a consultant for. Your customers are your best consultants.
Tip #5 – Encourage Positive Reviewers
A Harvard Business Review study showed that 48% of customers who have had a negative experience with a business will share their story with 10 or more people. Compare that to 23% of individuals who have had a positive experience. This means that customers who have negative reviews for your business would be more likely to post it online than an individual who has had a positive experience. Combat this by encouraging more positive reviews. You can do this by adding subtle reminders to your receipts, sending email reminders, or creating an incentive by offering a small gift or discount. Encouraging your satisfied customers to post their opinions can help the image of your business and lessen the impact of the few negative reviews.
No matter how careful you are and how much you try to provide a topnotch experience for your customers, bad reviews are always a possibility. Sometimes it is something within your control. Other times your product or service just didn’t satisfy the customer’s needs. That’s okay. Your business can’t be everything for everyone. But addressing all of your reviews in a positive manner can result in a satisfied customer. Maybe they’ll even be willing to give you another shot.