Today your online reputation is heavily influenced by reviews that are left by consumers, whether they be good or bad. A whopping amount (around 84%) of new customers would say that they trust a review as much as they trust a word of mouth testimonial. This means that customer reviews can be one of the most important pieces in your business and brand awareness efforts, especially when it comes to ranking well online. With this being said, not every review you encounter will be a positive one, which is unfortunate but it is something that businesses must deal with. This doesn’t have to be entirely negative though, especially if you know how to react when the situation arises. Here are some things to remember when dealing with a negative review.
Positivity: When working in customer service, try to remain as calm, collected, and positive as possible with the people you interact with. This idea is extremely important when dealing with someone who is experiencing issues with your services. Negative reviews can get us all in a defensive mood, but rather than attacking the customer, try to reason with them and remain as understanding as possible. Don’t point fingers or try to figure out who is to blame because that could potentially make things worse. Always make the customer feel heard and address the issues at hand. Simply ignoring the review does not show that you care about your customers and ultimately is the worst thing you can do.
Fix the Problem: After you’ve shown that you understand the problem at hand, try to reason with the customer and offer a way to solve it. Make sure to start with a quick apology but don’t just end there. Saying sorry is nice, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t provide much value to the consumer. Go the extra mile and work towards fixing whatever problem the customer is experiencing. Stay personable and try to be on the same side as the customer. The odds are that your negative review could turn into a positive one, due to the customer’s satisfaction with how you handled the issue at hand. The way you handle things could lead to improved customer retention, especially after you’ve solved the problem they were experiencing.
Discretion: Even though this review is not good, try to reiterate the idea that the rest of your customers leave happy and that this is an odd case. You can say something along the lines of: “We’d like to apologize for your poor experience. Over the years, we’ve found that most of our customers leave satisfied. We are sorry to hear that was not the case this time around. We’d love to work with you and fix your problem!” Taking the conversation public shows that you are not ashamed of dealing with customer dissatisfaction. Sometimes things cannot be approached online due to personal info or reasons, so taking the extra step to contact the customer offline would show your commitment to keeping everyone happy.
After you have gone through all the necessary steps to help solve the issue, make sure to follow up with the customer and politely ask them if they would consider updating their review based on their experiences. Stay personable and show that you truly care about the customer’s satisfaction. It’s never a good thing to see a negative review about your business, but not everyone will experience the satisfaction that you strive to provide. Tackling these problems head on and solving the customer’s problem together not only shows that you are willing to do whatever it takes, but that you care about every one of your customers.
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