No one likes to receive negative feedback from a customer. Our first reaction is to get defensive because we feel like the integrity of our work is being attacked. It’s also common to fear how it will impact your public image.
The truth is that these “negative reviews” can be useful, even beneficial. According to a study conducted by Reevoo, 95% of consumers suspect businesses are censoring or posting fake reviews if they don’t see any negative ratings. This study included more than 150 businesses. (You can read more about this in their free e-book “Bad reviews are good for business”).
The truth is, it’s impossible to satisfy the needs of all our customers, so negative reviews give us some form of credibility.
The most important thing to remember about customer opinions, reviews, or comments posted on our profiles is how we respond and manage them.
Before you jump on the keyboard to respond, take a few minutes and consider the following:
- You are writing to ALL your customers: The response you leave on your profile will be read by the dissatisfied customer, along with everyone who accesses your website, finds you on Google, or any other platform you advertise on
- Avoid spelling or grammatical errors: This may seem silly, but your response will lack credibility and professionalism if it’s filled with grammatical errors.
- Never argue with the client and always be polite: Even if the comment is rude or disrespectful, offer your apologies and respond politely.
- Explain what happened: Offer a clear and reasonable explanation of the issue, and offer your customer an immediate solution.
Here are some tips for responding to reviews:
- Always personalize your response
Don’t copy and paste a generic response to every review. Customers reading your reviews will notice this quickly and think you are being lazy. Always focus on each customer as an individual and address them by their name.
- Always thank the customer
Always start with a brief thank-you message to show your appreciation for their review. Don’t forget to end it by reiterating your appreciation and emphasizing how much it meant to you.
- Respond to specific points in their review
If a customer has referred to a specific product/service, don’t hesitate to refer to it in your response. Mention how popular it is with other customers and how happy they were with that particular service.
Take this opportunity to introduce some of your keywords for that type of product.
However, don’t go for an upsell or mention other products and services, as this may seem a bit sleazy. Be authentic, and make sure your comment relates to that specific review.
- Don’t put too many keywords in your response.
Using keywords in your message is an excellent way to increase your search engine results. However, take caution in putting too many keywords in your response or mentioning your business too much. It may come off as unnatural. Remember, less is more.
- Try to offer something of value in your response
Remember that you are not just responding to those individual customers when you respond to reviews, but current and potential customers too. If you offer something of value in your response, they will be more likely to notice it and purchase your product or service.
For example, as a thank you, you may want to offer them a free trial, free product, or a discount on their next purchase. You don’t have to offer something tangible. It could be a helpful tip, explaining how to get more out of their product or highlighting a loyalty program they didn’t know about.
Keep in mind, if you do offer something, always be consistent. A customer may get upset if they find out you offered them something different from another customer. Always give the same thing to each customer.