No matter how good your product or service is, there is always a risk that someone could be unhappy with their purchase. Even if you do everything right, it’s still possible for your review to have a negative impact on your business or even your personal life. Luckily, there are steps you can take to handle these situations in a way that doesn’t harm yourself or your company.
Here are some tips for handling negative product reviews:
• Read the review and determine how legitimate it is. If you see several bad reviews, take a step back and consider if this is representative of your overall customer feedback. Sometimes, one unhappy customer can give a bad name to the rest of your consumers who may be satisfied with their purchase.
• Don’t respond to every complaint or critical comment that comes in through social media or email. Make sure that people’s comments are taken seriously. For example, if someone says they’re never buying from you again because they were late receiving their order, this probably isn’t worth responding to since there’s little you could do at this point other than apologize again and offer them a discount on their next purchase.
• If a review is filled with profanity or personal attacks, don’t respond at all. Sometimes, people just want to vent and don’t expect you to answer back. In most cases they will probably delete their comment if they got no response from you, but there’s always the chance that another customer could stumble across this negative review and take it seriously – so it’s best not to even acknowledge these kinds of comments unless you have time to handle them properly.
• Offer a gift certificate or discount for a future purchase as an apology or compensation for the bad experience your customer had. Just make sure that the gift certificate is worth more than what your consumer spent on their last purchase (you can set minimum amounts for gift certificates, so if their last purchase was $5, a $10 gift certificate will still serve as compensation).
• If the review is completely false and slandering your company’s image, consider hiring a lawyer. In most cases, these kinds of reviews are considered defamation of character and you may have a case against the person who wrote it – especially if they don’t have a disclaimer or author’s note that says it is just opinions and not fact.
• Consider going back to the person who posted the negative review and seeing what you can do to fix whatever went wrong in their eyes. Sometimes people post negative reviews when something was beyond your control (the product arrived later than expected or there was an issue with shipping), in this case talking to them and seeing if you can make it up to them will go a long way in winning back their business.
• Report the review as spam if it is just an empty one-liner that offers no constructive criticism or feedback. Most online stores with contact forms also include the option for customer feedback, such as “How was your experience shopping at (store’s name)?” and these kinds of comments may not be worth responding to since they aren’t offering any actual information about why they don’t want to shop there anymore.
• If someone accuses you of stealing their photograph, say you found it through a Google search and had no idea it didn’t belong to them. Even though this might seem like admitting guilt even though you knew what you were doing, this kind of fake negative review is easy to spot so it isn’t worth your time trying to defend yourself.
• Offer a discount or freebie for someone who will write a positive review instead of fighting back against the negative one. You can offer them something in return, such as a discount coupon or even an exclusive invite to an upcoming promotion. This way you are rewarding someone for giving you great feedback and helping build up your company’s image!
Respond With Professionalism
Regardless of what you do to respond, be sure that other customers see how hard you’re working to resolve their concerns. While not everyone will come back after making a purchase, if they feel like they can trust you with their business they may order from you again in the future – and that’s what every online store is striving for.
You can also try looking into websites that specialize in feedback management to help you manage negative reviews, such as ReputationDefender . This way you can stay on top of your brand image while still offering loyal customers a chance to speak their mind!
Let Your Customers Know Their Voice Is Heard
Now that you have the basics of handling negative reviews, go out there and show your customers that their concerns are being heard – or at least pretend to long enough for them to leave!
They are fighting back against a negative review for no reason other than spite. Most people who do this don’t even realize they’re doing something wrong since it’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, but these kinds of comments only make you look bad. If one person calls you out on something, listen to them. Unless dozens of other people are reporting the same issue, an unhappy customer should be taken seriously . When someone accuses you of stealing their design or image, say that if they could bring it to your attention where they found it you will take care of the issue. This is another example of how to handle negative reviews in an appropriate manner.
Is Someone Attacking Your Business?
If your business is being attacked for illegally using someone else’s images, say that once reported you will take down the post immediately and check into it further. Sometimes people are just trying to give you a hard time, but other times there might be some truth to their accusations – especially if they have proof to show you. Either way, taking something like this seriously can help restore your company’s image so don’t brush these kinds of claims off until you’ve had a chance to look into them!
You should also keep in mind that defamation laws vary by country so be sure to consult a legal expert to find out what you’re allowed to do when engaging with a customer in your own country.
Try giving your customers an incentive to write positive reviews instead of responding to negative ones, such as offering double the amount of points for every review they leave (use Rafflecopter or another automated tool to make this easier). Customers who weren’t planning on leaving a review might be more inclined if their review will actually mean something and they get rewarded for doing it. Once you have enough feedback, check out how other companies collect and analyze online data and see if there’s anything you can use while finding opportunities!
If you work with or know someone who takes photos for a living, see if they will offer your products to their followers for free in exchange for an honest review. This option also gives you access to photos of people wearing the clothing (or other kind), which could be useful if you’re trying to appeal to a certain demographic or target market.
Encourage Customers To Leave Feedback
You should also encourage customers to leave feedback on any social media pages you have so that all feedback is collected together instead of split over several different sites. Having everything in one place makes it easier for potential customers to find out what people think about your store since there are no issues with accessibility!
Even though negative reviews can sometimes feel like insults, responding properly can help your business in the long run. With one properly handled negative review, you can even convert the reviewer into a loyal customer! Check out our article on How To Remove Negative Reviews From Google Search Results. If you have any more questions about how to handle negative comments or reviews, feel free to contact us and we’ll see if we can advise you on what to do!