We live in a world where virtually everyone relies on the opinion of others when making a purchase decision. Studies have shown that most of the people are influenced by online customer reviews of a product or service when deciding whether to buy it or not. That’s why businesses strive to maintain a positive image online to avoid losing a new customer. From a consumer point of view, negative reviews mean that your product or service is not good enough. This can adversely impact your business image as well as sales, but you can always rectify that by handling the negativity in a professional and amicable way.
Here are six ways to handle negative business responses;
#1: Understand the Reason behind the Negative Review
People express their dissatisfaction with your product or service when provoked by something. However, some commenters just leave insulting comments to anger people or pull attention. These comments have little to do with your services, and you only need to respond in a light manner. However, for a real negative comment, you need to establish the real cause of the provocation. Try to establish the cause of the negative review in your cause of interaction with them.
#2: Respond Promptly
Any comment, either negative or positive that stays on your site without a response for a long time raises questions about your credibility. Should a comment portray a negative image of your business, taking long to respond makes it seem as though you agree with the review. While you don’t need to spend your whole day on your site responding to comments, try to respond under 24 hours.
You need to consider your response; don’t rush to comment as that can lead to a major mistake that will be harder to rectify; you can commit grammar errors and misspellings that will portray you as an unprofessional person. Rushed response can result in unthoughtful review as well; therefore, take time to think and compose your response.
#3: Be Polite
Keep in mind that you are the owner of the business and you know exactly the quality of your product and services. If there are issues or delays, you know why it happened and how to fix it. Often, your customer is not aware of what’s going on, and that’s one of the reasons they get frustrated.
While you may not be at fault, don’t spend time playing the blame game. Instead, respond positively and inform your customer you’re doing all you can to rectify the situation and ensure a better experience in the future. Always start by acknowledging the review before clarifying the issue. This will help you forge lasting relationships with your customers as they’ll see you care about them.
#4: Take the Issue Offline
When issues get more intense, you don’t want to spill the details out in the open. Reply to the original review and let the commentators know that you are settling the issue in private to make the situation right. This shows that you care about the confidentiality of your customers.
Creating a private conversation will create a conducive environment where you can explain to the affected customer what went wrong. You can even ask for their contact to fully explain everything.
However, if the issue involves more than two customers, you shouldn’t hold private conversations with each of them. Explain at length how you are going to fix that in a different comment without having to engage each one individually.
#5: Always Respond Professionally
You have used a lot of resources and effort to establish your business website and online presence as a whole in a professional way. Your responses to either positive or negative comments should be equally proficient and professional. No matter how rude the customer is, always maintain your cool and professionalism in your responses. While your character should fit in the online platform you’re posting; you should always maintain both self-assured and positive attitude. Never doubt yourself; speak with authority.
This should be the last option. On rare occasion, you can be forced to ban a user from your platform or delete their comments. While you would like to avoid this scenario as much as possible as it seems suspicious, sometimes there’s no other alternative.
If someone is posting in crude language or violating the rules you’ve set for your online business platforms, you should and can delete the comment. Avoid engaging with such people as that will ruin your reputation. Ignore the comment and ban them.
However, if you ban users or delete comments, make sure to inform other users that you have done so and the reason for doing that. This will portray you as a transparent person and will help to protect your reputation.
The truth is that, if you respond to negative feedback in a genuine and prompt, you’ll gain respect and this will help keep your reputation intact.
You may share how you negative feedback in your business in the comment box below.