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Negative reviews from a dissatisfied customer can have a significant impact on your business. Regardless if you offer the best products or services, negative reviews are bound to happen at some point. While you can’t always prevent bad reviews, you can address the reviews and increase your chances of saving the relationship with the customer.

With many customers seeking social validation before making a purchase, it is critical to understand the vital elements for handling negative reviews.

Don’t Delay Your Public Response

One of the most crucial things to understand is that your response to the negative review should be prompt and public. The customer is looking for a solution by leaving the negative review, so the faster you can respond and resolve the problem, the less damage done.

Faster is better, but you should at least respond within 24 hours. With a quick response, you increase the chances of the customer having a more positive response, and they may even be willing to edit their original complaint.

Speed is essential, but so is making a public response. This shows other customers or potential customers that your brand cares about the experience of customers. Be careful not to reveal any sensitive or private information publicly. Consider a public response, paired with a private message to the customer.

Closely Monitor Your Reviews

From Google and Facebook to reviews on Yelp and more, there are various places where your brand likely receives reviews. It can be easy to overlook a negative review, leading to the loss of a customer, which is why it is crucial to monitor your reviews.

With the popularity of social media, most brands interact with their customers primarily on platforms such as Facebook. This means that your brand will mainly be discussed on social media as well. To ensure you don’t miss negative reviews, you can utilize a social media monitoring tool. This tool monitors the social media platforms where you are active and other types of social channels and review platforms. This tool will look for conversations and questions about your company, services, and products and monitor your industry.

This will help you stay informed of the negative reviews while keeping you updated on the conversation surrounding your brand.

Avoid Generic Responses

Building customer trust is crucial to driving brand loyalty. This means when you are responding to these reviews, you need to not just show that you are handling the problem, but you need to demonstrate that you care about the customer’s experience and are dedicated to making it better.

For example, your customer was dissatisfied with the service they received, here is an example of how not to respond. “We’re sorry that you experienced an issue. We stand behind our services and would be willing to help you resolve the issue. Please reach out to our customer service team.”

The above reply is generic and doesn’t give your customer much information. It is also not a personalized response, and it doesn’t attempt to address the customer’s issue. Customers leave a review because they want customer service to reach out to them; they shouldn’t have to be promoted to reach out to your company on their own.

Use a more personalized approach to show your customer that you care. For example:

Hello [name of customer], Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that you were dissatisfied with your recent service experience. We would be happy to redo the service to ensure it meets your needs, as we want you to believe in the quality of our services just like we do. One of our customer service representatives will reach out to you shortly via direct message to resolve your service issue.”

This response provides a clear apology to the client by name and directly acknowledges the customer’s issue. This demonstrates to the customer that you understand their issue while keeping the tone light and conversational. The most important aspect of the response is that it shows your company will be taking action to resolve the problem.

Don’t View a Response as Damage Control

Avoid viewing your response to bad reviews as damage control but put a positive spin on them by viewing them as a chance for you to engage with your customers and improve your customer care metrics. You want to use your response as an opportunity to show the customer that although they had a negative experience, their interaction with your company doesn’t have to end that way.

You want to keep a light tone in your writing and try to shift the focus to a more positive light, just like the line in the example response “We would be happy to redo the service to ensure it meets your needs, as we want you to believe in the quality of our services just like we do.” This positivity can help shift their focus.

This is not to say that you should downplay their concerns or ignore their complaint. This can lead to a customer becoming frustrated and making them unlikely to change their negative review.

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