5 Things You Should Know Before Responding to Negative Reviews

Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Allen

For business owners, feelings of dread usually follow negative reviews as the thought of losing customers is usually brought to mind. However, knowing how to handle negative reviews in the correct way will have your prospective customers respecting your business, this will drive revenue to you and differentiate your business from your competition. Here are 5 things you should know before responding to negative reviews:

Man looking at laptop worried about a negative review

1. Don’t Get Defensive & Don’t Be Offensive

Don’t battle with your customer… it doesn’t matter how wrong your customer might seem to be or how they might make you feel about them being at fault… just don’t do it!

At all costs (and it will cost you), avoid a battle online, this is an absolute no, no.   Don’t forget your responses are read by thousands of potential customers so when you respond, always use language that shows you ‘understand’ how the customer feels, always show empathy.

2. Get Your Customer Engaged

By all means, engage the customer if you are not completely sure what their complaint is about and why they are not satisfied. Go to the point of asking them to call or visit your business so you can find out more about how your business can make their experience a more enjoyable one and how you can make amends to them.

3. Start A Personal Dialogue 

Two tips for a genuine return:

Be Real – To create good online reputation management, make sure you sound like a real person when you respond to customer reviews. So many companies make the massive mistake of responding to a customer’s genuine review with a sterile press-release-like response.

Professional but Personal – Answer them in a professional way BUT remember to always be personal. We all have a bad day, even business owners and we all understand that. So when you respond, be honest, real and be yourself. Personal and genuine responses to negative reviews will go a long way in building your business brand online and create more customers.

4. Know When To Say When

There a few odd customers and some unique situations that you just aren’t going to be able to please, for example, a customer who states that you should let an employee go. Just be honest and polite with your response explaining that there are some requests that you can’t help them with. If your disgruntled customer can’t accept this, remember thousands of potential customers reading your response online, will!

5. Get Them Back Into Your Business

When dealing with dissatisfied customers, the goal for any business owner should be to get them back into your place of business so the customer can see the error of their ways and change their negative review into a positive one or at least, post a positive one. Money talks… so get them back into your business by offering a refund, discount or free offer when you respond to them. The little bit of money you spend to do this for an upset customer may save you thousands of dollars. However, it’s important to only offer these incentives through personal communication, not online for others to see.

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