Reviews arrive with both pleasure and pain to businesses, as it comes with both positive and negative feedback. Negative reviews are naturally unwanted, but they’re inevitable! No matter how much you hammer away, some customers will remain unsatisfied and burst into you with their gloomy words. As a result, you may get furious or frustrated and decides to ignore them! And this is one thing you must not do! Because the unhappiest customers expect your attention the most, and the happiest customers observe how you’re handling the situation.
And guess what? Responding to them smartly and courteously allows you to turn the unhappiness into satisfaction and happiness into loyalty!
Why businesses should respond to negative feedback
The success of your business not only relies upon “What do you provide” anymore, but also on “How and what else do you provide.” Because nowadays, customers have alternative options for almost everything, and it became a challenge to businesses. Offering the most superior and premium quality isn’t sufficient. And that’s where the quality of customer service became the most crucial part.
Ignoring negative reviews of customers means you’re giving up a portion of your customers to your competitors. Because in today’s world, responding to reviews considered one of the competitive advantages. A survey by BrightLocal revealed that 71% of customers say they’re more likely to use a business that has responded to their reviews. (Source )The quality of your customer service will make the customers come back to you even after a bad experience. It also helps you to build a good reputation, among others. But how to respond to those tragic words without sounding rude and turning the dissatisfaction into satisfaction?
Respond quickly and publicly
You should respond to the negative reviews as early as possible. When a customer is unhappy, he/she wants the attention of the seller immediately. And if you ignore them and take too much time to respond, it results in bigger disappointment. That customers may then post another review about how miserable your customer service is! So, never take that chance. Also, it’s easy to calm the customer if you take action instantly.
You should always respond in public so that others can see how much you care about your customers and how effective your customer services are.
Watch your tone and be professional.
No matter how upset you get, don’t try to be offensive or arrogant while responsive. Because when you’re acting as the service provider, people expect you to be professional. Always remember the thing that you’re presenting your whole business while responding online. Everyone will judge you based on how you tackle this kind of situation. So, you better not give people to have a second thought about your customer service. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the words carefully.
Never try to prove them wrong!
You must remember one thing, that’s “Customer is always right!” You’ve to listen and consider all of their problems even if you don’t feel like that. Your customer expects a solution, not a counter. And if you try to prove them wrong, it means you’re playing with the fire!
You can politely let them know about your policies or why their complaints don’t match with your services. But never try to counter them ever!
Show respect and ask for their advice
Be polite, humble, and show respect. Kind words have the most powerful effect of calming someone. The moment they realize that you’re valuing their words, their anger will significantly decrease, and they’ll happily cooperate with you.
If possible, ask for advice about how they want to solve the issue and what improvements can be made so that it won’t happen again. Once you make them feel included, your customers will never stop admiring you!
Solve critical issues offline and don’t rush
If the problem-solving process gets critical or lengthy, it’s better to take the issue offline. It’s not appropriate to publicly solve the whole process, and your customers also may get reluctant to share all his/her experiences. Many of them may seem extra hyper, and publicly solving their issues may hurt your reputation. Moreover, some business policies better remain confidential.
And don’t try to solve it quickly. Give time and listen to them. Sometimes the process may get complicated, but you’ve to be patient. Think about it as an investment for future positive reviews.
Offer to make it right or refund
Always keep an option or refunds. Don’t just save your back by saying you don’t have that service on your business policy. If you don’t have that, then you must include it. Because sometimes it’s easier and healthy to offer refunds to the customers. It works great for calming them and helps to get the trust because people will then know that they have no risk of doing business with you.
- It’s better to customize your replies.
For the sake of quick response, don’t put the same reply on every feedback. It makes the customers more irritated. It’s unreasonable to think that all your unsatisfied customers are not facing the same problem. Then why should you treat them uniformly? If possible, hire one or two members in your sales team whose work will be to read the feedback carefully and provide customized replies. It shows how active your customer service is.
- Don’t just respond. Fix it!
Don’t just think that after listening and replying to them, your job gets done. You still have to solve the issue. Because only listening to them doesn’t prove your care for the customers, they want their problems to be solved. And if you don’t do that, the outbursts will increase instead of decreasing. Yes, it’ll take a little bit more effort and time, but it’s worth it. It shows your customer service is not an empty pot. The more you fix the problems, the less you’ll get negative feedback.
It’s a blessing in a disguise!
If you look closely, these negative reviews can work as an opportunity for your business than defamation. With those feedbacks, you’ll know what the flaws of your service are and how you can solve those. It’ll have a significant role in the development of your business. If you started to gather this information in other ways, you’d see how much time and money it’ll cost. But now, all of this valuable information is coming to you without any effort. Also, you’re getting the chance to show others how much you care about your customers, and it has a high impact on holding your customer following. It takes five times more effort and cost to create a new customer, but by following some tactics, you can keep your current ones and turn them into loyal customers. So from next time, whenever you see negative reviews on your website, take it as an opportunity instead of being pissed off at those!