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How To Respond To Negative Online Reviews

November 4, 2020 Published by

smiley face review interface

Online reviews are extremely important to the health and growth of your business. In fact, a study by BrightLocal found that 76 percent of consumers trust online reviews and personal recommendations equally, meaning you need to have a well-developed system in place to deal with reviews from upset customers, loyal fans, and everyone in between. Fortunately, even the worst of reviews can still be turned around if you take the proper steps. As such, we will explain how to respond to negative online reviews to safeguard and improve your brand’s reputation.

Steps To Resolving Negative Reviews

Looking up your reviews only to find a customer has left a one-star review can cause a stir of panic, but there is no reason to fret. A negative review shouldn’t be a cause for stress but instead an opportunity to improve your brand reputation and customer service. Statistics show that customers are 45 percent more likely to visit a business if they respond to negative reviews.

Here are four simple steps you can take to get the best outcome when responding to a negative review:

  1. Internally assess and evaluate feedback first

Never impulsively reply to a negative review. The first step towards a great response is to take a step back and assess your situation. If you reply to a negative review without thinking it through, you could upset an angry customer even further. This could lead to them eliciting a bad reaction from you and smearing your reputation online. Speak with team members to understand what went wrong, and plan out an effective response.

  1. Respond to your review publicly

Gone are the days when you could email dissatisfied customers privately to resolve issues. Responding to a customer publicly on the platform they posted their review is best as it shows everyone that your business is attentive and cares about providing a great experience.

  1. Be transparent, and offer solutions

In business, nobody is perfect, and mistakes are bound to happen. However, it’s the way you choose to respond to these mistakes that determines how your brand will be perceived. Being transparent and taking responsibility for mistakes goes a long way as a survey shows 85 percent of people are likely to stay with a business if they have a solid track record of transparency.

Another important aspect of responding to a negative review is empathizing with your customer and offering solutions. If you write a response that provides no solutions to compensate for your customer’s negative experience, then your reply will fall on deaf ears. Make sure you are providing a way to resolve the customer’s issue.

  1. Sign your name, and request a review update

Signing your name after your replies may not seem like a big deal, but it is important to do so. This shows your customers that you are a real person and demonstrates your business cares about their experience.

Finally, if you feel your customer is satisfied and that their experience has been corrected, ask them if they’d like to update their review. If their negative review is still public, the thread of replies that lead to a good outcome will still exist, but potential customers may not read through all of it. The best way to protect your brand online is to update the original review.

Turn a Negative Into a Positive

One bad review does not spell the end of your business, and it can be a chance to build your brand and learn from mistakes. However, remember that providing a great response won’t prevent bad reviews in the future. Ensure you are continuously monitoring and resolving customer experience challenges to prevent problems later on.