Negative online reviews can be scary, especially when you don't know how to handle them. But let's face it, when a business is successful, there will always be unhappy people who find it in their best interests to share their bad experiences. Based on a study by Hiver, 18% of customers said that they would take their issues to social media after a bad customer service experience from a company. With that knowledge in mind, it's important to have a strategy in place to ensure your business doesn't implode because one person chose to complain online.
9 Tips on How to Handle Negative Reviews Online
1. Use your business profile for the reply
If someone posts a negative review about your business online, don't reply on their wall or in their inbox. That will only make things worse. Instead, respond from your business profile and include an apology, along with information that explains how you've addressed the issue in question. If possible, offer them a refund or another way to make things right.
2. Respond privately if possible
If someone leaves a negative review on your public page (e.g., Facebook) or tweets about their bad experience at your place of business, don't respond publicly — it will just create more drama and bad press for everyone involved. Instead, private message them privately via email or social media messaging service and explain how you want to resolve their issue as quickly as possible so they feel heard and satisfied with the outcome of their complaint.
3. Do not get into a spat online with the reviewer
It is tempting to get into a spat online with the reviewer, but this is not a good idea. You will end up looking unprofessional and it could also have an adverse effect on your business.
The worst thing you can do when faced with negative reviews online is to start arguing with the reviewer or give them excuses for poor service or products. The best way to handle negative reviews online is by admitting you were wrong and correcting the problem as soon as possible. You should also apologize for their inconvenience, even if it was not your fault or if you did not know about it until now.
4. Empathize and apologize to the reviewer
When you empathize with a reviewer, you are showing them that you understand how they feel and that their issue is important to you. This will help you get them on your side instead of making them feel like they are fighting a losing battle. The best thing to do when faced with negative reviews online is by admitting they were wrong and correcting the problem as soon as possible. You should also apologize for their inconvenience, even if it was not your fault or if you did not know about it until now.
5. Fix the issue but do not say you will
The main goal of a negative review is to get your attention and make you aware that there is an issue with your business. The best way to do this is by showing them that you have fixed the problem so they know they have been heard. This will help them feel satisfied with their experience and make sure that no one else has the same problem in the future. You can do this by responding with a video or photo showing that you have fixed the problem, thus making sure that no one else has the same problem in the future.
6. Add some personal touch to your reply
Keep in mind that most people who write negative reviews have legitimate concerns and need answers to their questions before they'll change their minds about you or your business. Be polite but direct, and keep the conversation focused on resolving any issues rather than defending yourself against accusations of wrongdoing (even if those accusations are false).
7. Maintain a professional tone and manner throughout the conversation
Regardless of how upset you are about the complaint or review, it is important to maintain a professional tone and manner throughout the conversation. You will want to ensure that your response is helpful and considerate towards the person who left the review. If they seem upset, try to de-escalate the situation by being calm and understanding while still sticking up for your company’s values.
8. Accept the fact even if it is not your fault
First and foremost, remember that negative reviews happen for many reasons which may or may not be related to your performance as an employee or manager. It could be due to so many factors such as customers’ expectations or personal preferences. In addition, there might be times when others just want someone else’s problems instead of solving their own issues and problems. So, if this happens, then try not to take it personally because we all know that would only worsen things further down the road if left unchecked!
Even if you feel that you have done nothing wrong, it is important to accept that the customer may still be upset. This can be difficult because there are often times when the customer is completely wrong, but it is still important to listen and understand their point of view before attempting to defend yourself or your company.
9. Do not make promises that you cannot keep
If you know that the customer is expecting something from you, such as a refund or replacement product, do not make promises that you cannot keep. Once you are unsure of what exactly they want then ask them. When there is something that needs to be fixed on your end then let them know and offer a timeline for when this will happen.
Whether you run your own business or are part of a team, negative online reviews are likely going to be something you have to deal with from time to time. So it's best not to ignore them and hope they go away, but instead to carefully consider how you're going to respond. Doing so can help you quell the reaction outlined above and prevent it from happening in the future.