How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Wondering how to respond to negative reviews? Despite all your efforts to provide excellent customer service, businesses inevitably experience negative reviews at some point.

Getting negative reviews can be frustrating. Facing personal error is challenging and many don’t like confrontation. Business success also heavily relies on positive reviews to help boost their presence online and bring in new sales. A study from Cone found that 4 out of 5 consumers reverse their decisions to purchase based on negative online reviews.

how to respond to negative reviews
Negative reviews with a one-star rating can be a result of poor communication, so it is important to respond quickly.

Therefore if negative reviews are expected, it’s best to learn how to manage them appropriately to save your online reputation. Negative reviews are disappointing, but they aren’t the end of the world and can serve as an essential tool for improvement.

Here are some ways to appropriately respond to negative reviews.

Always Respond

First things first, you should always respond to reviews. Whether positive or negative, you must remain connected to your customers. When you respond to all reviews, then you’re already a step ahead of many others.

Stay Polite

People can be verbally ruthless in online reviews. When people are angry or disappointed, they are more likely to express it through writing reviews. No matter the context, fault, or wording, it’s important to remain polite and stay calm through the process. Remember, other people will see your response and will react accordingly to the tone of the message.

Respond within 24 Hours (if possible)

You might need to go over the 24-hour window during holidays or emergencies but always try to respond to negative reviews within a day. Since many businesses use automation software, people expect fast responses. If you respond quickly, you can rectify the issue promptly before any other issues arise. Plus, your promptness might defuse some of the tension.

Keep Responses Clear and Concise

It’s essential not to get bogged in details. Make sure you keep your responses brief and to the point and avoid confrontation. Keeping answers clear and concise is the best way to manage negative reviews. 

How Can You Make It Better?

Maybe a product arrived damaged or perhaps not at all. Whatever the reason, the customer is upset and felt inclined to leave a negative review. However, if you’re the manager or business owner, put yourself in their shoes.

It’s important to show empathy when talking to customers. Remember, it isn’t about right or wrong; it’s about making the situation right. Use wording like “I hear you” or “I understand how you feel” to empathize with them. Usually, this type of language allows people to feel less defensive and more likely to work with you to make the situation better. 

review responses
Always remember future customers could be reading reviews and your responses, so don’t respond emotionally.

What do Will Future Customers think?

When you do respond, remember it’s a reflection of you and your business. Keep calm and always respond politely, and consider how you’re coming across to potential customers. Your response will be viewed by people who might reconsider after seeing your reply. 

Move The Situation Offline

As important as it is to respond, it’s equally important not to continue a back-and-forth disagreement. It looks unprofessional, and people might get caught up in their responses. If your initial reaction isn’t working, try to get the customer to discuss it over the phone or email. Say, “I’d love to make this right and talk further, can you please call or message me at…” Sometimes emotions and disagreements are challenging to express in writing. Therefore, moving the situation offline might defuse the situation without the extra commentary.

Negative reviews are nerve-wracking, but they don’t have to cause stress or ruin your online reputation. Please refer to our other blog post for further tips, which covers the do’s and don’ts when responding to reviews.

Reputation management software such as ReviewInc makes responding to negative reviews simple because you can sign up for an automatic text or email alert when a Facebook or Google review comes in. Then, you can respond quickly from within the platform due to ReviewInc’s partnership with both Facebook and Google. To learn more about Review Inc, schedule a demo with one of our Account Executives today!