If you’re a business owner, sometimes it can be hard to sit back and watch negative reviews be written about your business. What people say about your product or service can hurt! You may feel like you have no control over a negative review that’s been written online, but I’d like to tell you, you’re wrong.
There’s so many ways that a business can harness a bad review to show new potential customers that you really do care. Statistics show that you can turn negative online reviews into a positive! Here’s a few ways you can do just that:
Take it as feedback for how to improve
I know I know, we’re starting with the easy solutions first. But we need to start here. Because if all you see on the other side of a bad review is an angry customer that has no idea how they could be damaging your business, then there’s no getting better! Really try to understand from your customer’s perspective to see if there is any truth in what they’ve said. This is important to improve your services and make sure a similar negative review doesn’t happen again! This is especially necessary if you see common threads in your reviews.
Reply to the customer’s review
This can be hard to do nicely, so if you need to, make sure you calm down before pressing send! Statistics show that when customers see a business replying to a negative review, 7 out of 10 times it changes their mind about the company (source)! That’s a huge opportunity to redeem yourself in front of your audience just by showing you care enough to reply to a bad review.
Offer a Refund or Exchange
If possible, consider offering a refund or exchange for the customer. Doing this can also affect other customers’ purchase intent. It builds assurance that if they aren’t happy with your product or service, there’s opportunity for redemption.
Set Product Misuse Straight
Not all bad reviews are your fault! Unfortunately sometimes someone may be having a bad day. And other times product misuse can be the cause. Setting a customer straight (nicely) shows you care and also alerts other customers to the correct use of your product. You may even need to address your processes of instructions if product misuse keeps happening.
Stop negative reviews before they’re posted
Consider contacting customers before their experience with your business is over. Most times, customers won’t speak up until after the transaction. Contacting them can enable you to fix any issues before they get too disgruntled and also does wonders for your customer service! This may be as simple as sending them an email to check up on if they have any questions or need help, or, in a restaurant example, asking customers how their meals were before they pay and leave.
How have you diffused a negative review? Whichever approach you take, remember to not take it personally and stay positive. Listen to the problem, apologise and see if you can make amends. When you take this approach, you may be surprised to find most customers change their opinions pretty quickly.
If you’re considering adding a review function to your website but are nervous about the possibility of negative reviews, don’t be! Read this post to see just how powerful adding reviews to your website can be.