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    March 1, 2017 by Joy Thompson

    responding-to-negative-reviews

    You can run the best business in the world, and you still won’t avoid the occasional scathing review. Sometimes it’s your company’s fault. Sometimes it’s not.

    Regardless, you should ALWAYS respond to a negative review, and here’s why:

    • It shows you care about the quality of your product
    • It shows that you listen to your customers
    • It shows that you value your customers

    Let’s say you’ve received a terrible review from a customer. What do you do?

    Step 1: Establish a customer service feedback loop

    A customer service feedback loop refers to an established protocol for responding to customer criticisms. If you’re a smaller business, your feedback loop might be very straightforward. If you have a bigger company with multiple customer service reps and/or departments, your feedback loop will be more complex.

    A customer service feedback loop should address issues like:

    • Who’s in charge of responding to reviews on our social media channels?
    • If the problem involves troubleshooting, who should resolve the issue?
    • Who deals with reviews written in spanish?
    • Who resolves issues related to the newest product?

    By having a clear-cut feedback loop, your customer service rep will know how to respond, who to send the issue to, and how to resolve the problem.

    Step 2: Whatever you do, remain calm

    It’s natural to feel angry when someone is disparaging your brand, especially if you feel falsely accused. Keeping calm is probably the most important advice for you to remember in this entire article.

    Don’t forget that your response to a negative review will be public. Potential customers who are doing research about your product are going to see your reply, and you don’t want to turn away business because you appear to dismissive of unhappy customers.

    If you’re feeling angry about a negative review, move away from the keyboard. After you’ve calmed down, refer to your customer service feedback loop, and write out your response.

    Step 3: Research the complaint

    While you should respond to every negative review, it’s important to understand that not all customer issues are the same.

    Perhaps you’re dealing with a serial complainer– someone who repeatedly writes only negative reviews for businesses. These types of customers might never be happy, no matter how hard you try.

    Maybe you’re dealing with someone who spent a lot of money on your product. This type of customer might require a more amiable solution.

    Maybe a negative review makes you aware of a new issue with your product or service. This might require that you look into the issue so that you can provide a more custom response and avoid future issues with other customers.

    The goal with this step is to ensure that you’re armed with all the info needed to effectively reply to the negative review.

    Step 4: Be personable

    Make sure that you’re using the customer’s name at the beginning of the response. Also, make sure that your customer service rep attaches their name to the response.

    Here’s an example:

    Mike (Customer): “Really upset I still haven’t received my order. It’s been over 10 business days. Never again”

    Janette (Customer Service): “Hi Mike, we’re really sorry to hear that your order hasn’t arrived yet. Please send us a Direct Message with your order number, and I’d be to help you out with with this – Janette, Customer Service

    Notice how the customer service rep addressed the customer by name, and included her name at the end. She also customized her response to directly reference the issue– a delayed order.

    This step lets your customer know that they’re not getting a cookie-cutter response. Customers like to know that they’re getting a custom solution from a dedicated rep.

    Step 5: Attempt to move the conversation to a private channel

    You want to move the issue from a public thread to a private one. This is crucial for a couple of reasons:

    1. You don’t want to encourage more visible negative commentary from an irate customer
    2. You don’t want other customers or potential customers to see what you’re willing to do for an angry customer

    The latter refers to any deep discounts or refunds you might offer to an angry customer. Based on the issue or circumstance, you might not want to give everyone your 50% off coupon or offer a refund to every customer. Different situations call for different solutions.

    Step 6: Ask for an updated review

    You’ve turned a customer from upset to ecstatic. There 1 star review doesn’t accurately reflect their current opinion of your product. It’s totally OK (and highly recommended) to ask the customer politely if they wouldn’t mind updating their review. They won’t fix their review if you don’t ask, so ask.

    Wrapping up

    As long as your solutions are thorough and you follow these 6 steps, you should be able to avoid major headaches often associated with angry customer reviews.

    If you’re business is facing a slew of negative reviews for whatever reason, and you need to bury them, that’s where we can help. Contact us today about our SEO services, and we’d be glad to provide you with a free assessment of your unique negative review problem.

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