Customer Reviews – Dealing with Negative Criticism
For fear of negative reviews, small businesses often back off from actively encouraging their customers to rate their products. This is completely unnecessary if you’ve developed a good communication strategy for bad reviews.
First of all, negative criticism does not necessarily damage the reputation of your company. Customers understand that mistakes happen, but they do expect companies to take serious and appropriate action when mistakes occur. Here are six tips for responding to negative reviews:
- Always respond.
You should only delete or ignore ratings when they contain spam or insults. In all other cases, answer confidently and friendly as soon as possible.
- Respond individually.
If possible, you should clarify how the problem occurred and who took care of this customer before answering. If this is not possible, don’t rely on canned answers. Listen to their problem and respond individually.
- Say thank you.
Criticism is always an opportunity for improvement. Thank the customer for constructive feedback — this shows sincerity and the customer feels taken seriously.
- Show understanding.
You should always assume that feedback is meant as constructive criticism and as a suggestion for improvement. Think about how you would feel in the respective situation and show empathy.
- Be critical and open to dialog.
Individual feedback can be the start of a conversation that enables you to learn more about the processes in your company. At the same time, you can respond to a customer’s specific problem. In doing so, you should be able to take criticism and avoid placing blame.
- Offer solutions to the problem.
Constructive solutions can calm an unsatisfied customer down. It’s not always necessary to offer a form of compensation, but find a solution that is acceptable for both you and your customer. In addition, you can offer contact information for a more detailed description of the problems, in order to develop a more targeted solution.
In the best case, you can convince the writer of a bad review to give you a second chance. This also has a positive effect on third-party readers, as they will think of your business as professional, credible and trustworthy when noticing that you care about dissatisfied customers. Have you had similar experiences?