How to respond to negative reviews

February 11, 2022

Even as a highly-rated business, you’re faced with one reality: you can’t please everyone. Top-end companies still suffer from the occasional negative review. It may not have been through a fault of their own; maybe the customer was having an off-day, or there was a miscommunication. Regardless, a negative review is an issue that must be addressed - it has a greater impact on your business than you might think. The way you respond to it will set your company apart and can serve to improve your online reputation. 

If you receive a negative review, don’t panic. Why not look on the bright side? It looks suspicious to consumers when a business only has positive reviews; a mix of both can make 68% of customers trust reviews more. As long as you manage the situation, a negative review can actually be beneficial. The key to turning this situation around is responding appropriately - one survey revealed that a response from the company convinced 30% of customers to alter their initial review. Here are some approaches to take when you’re managing negative reviews:

  1. Take accountability. No matter how strongly-worded that review might be, customers don’t want you to invalidate their experience. It will put a sour taste in their mouth, as well as any future clients who come across your insulting response. Whatever the issue may be, make sure to address it directly and take responsibility for it. Include a sincere apology in your response and mention ways that you plan to improve the issue.
  1. Offer a monetary reward. There’s nothing like a freebie to cure a bad mood. When you respond to a negative review, offer them something to compensate for their experience. Depending on your industry, this might entail a complimentary meal, a free service repair, or a discount on their next purchase.
  1. Emphasize the positives. Use your response as an opportunity to bring forward the strong points your business has. As you mention the topic of concern, write about how your business is usually known for its excellent customer service or high-performing products.
  1. Show that you appreciate their feedback. Your customer has taken the time to write a review of your business, even if it doesn’t put you in a positive light. Respond with your appreciation for their constructive criticism. This approach will demonstrate to other consumers that you are receptive to feedback.
  1. Open the conversation for further discussion. At the end of your reply, you can give them your phone number and offer to solve the issue over a conversation. You can take the conversation offline and arrange for a meeting to discuss the problem in-person. This gesture can prove your sincerity and may persuade them to edit their review. 

The faster you respond to negative reviews, the greater the chances are that a customer will alter their existing review; it shows that you are concerned about the consumer’s experience. If you want to change their mind, write a reply. It’s more than likely that it will be seen since 97% of reviewers will read the business’s response. Since it’s highly visible, take the time to craft a thoughtful and considerate reply to customer concerns to show that your business values their experience. 

Even though you understand how important it is to manage negative reviews, the other challenge is staying on top of them. As you juggle your business operations, you don’t have time to check review websites every single day. How do you do it? With the help of our reputation management software, you’ll be able to take control of your online image. RepCo offers a powerful tool to help businesses manage incoming reviews; you’ll be alerted the moment they’re posted so that you can respond immediately. 

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