How to Respond to a Negative Review Online

Regardless of how well your business is run, there will always be the potential for a customer or client to have a negative experience. And, because of how quickly word gets around on the internet, negative reviews of your business can become a problem sometimes overnight. In this post, we’re addressing this issue head-on by providing you with tips on how to respond when you are faced with a negative review of your business.
Before even beginning to draft a response to your negative review, remember that this is a unique opportunity for you to use the voice of your brand to engage with your customer base. Not only will you be communicating directly with the customer in your response; you’ll also be advertising your values and level of customer service for new and existing customers. So, view the review response as a chance to shine.

What to Do When Responding to a Negative Review

Politely Propose a Fix, Promptly

In general, it’s best to respond to negative reviews as soon as possible. This gives you the best chance at controlling the potential damage that might be done to your brand. It also shows that you’re responsive and alert to the needs of your customers.
In addition to acting soon (preferably within the first day or two), propose a solution or fix for the customer who submitted the negative review. For example, if you sell dog treats and someone reviewed them saying their dog didn’t like them, offer to refund their money. Even if they don’t take you up on it, it shows that you’re doing the right thing as the business owner.
As you enter this dialog with the customer, remember that this is purely business, and there’s nothing to gain from involving emotion or using negative wording. Assigning blame or guilt rarely ever helps the situation, and the more you can keep the communication polite and professional, the better the overall outcome will be.

Go the Extra Mile

Think about how you might go outside the box to please this customer. Perhaps you might think about sending them a message offline, to prove to them that you’re genuinely interested in resolving their concern. If you can locate the order number or customer profile, reach out to them as an order follow-up and try to agree on a resolution together.
If you’re able to salvage the customer even after they’ve had a poor experience with your company, it’s possible that he or she will go back and change their review for the better. What matters most in responding to negative reviews online isn’t who was right or wrong. What matters most is how you react. Think of every negative review as an opportunity to publicly showcase your commitment to 100% customer satisfaction. Your bottom line will thank you in the end.
Sound customer development strategies make for successful businesses, both online and in-person. At Sympler, we know how to thrill customers with powerful digital marketing solutions. Contact us now to learn more.


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