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Jul 20, 2018

How To Handle Negative Reviews

Below are step-by-step instructions to handle negative reviews

As a business owner, one of the key areas to focus on while cementing your online presence is customer reviews. Positive reviews go a long way towards helping potential customers make a decision in favor of your business. But what happens when a customer leaves a negative review? How do you go about handling that?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do just that, and possibly even getting an unsatisfied customer to change their review completely!

Step 1: Adopt A Calm Approach

Whenever you receive a negative review, it is absolutely necessary to approach the issue in a calm manner, and take emotion out of the equation. It’s highly improbable to satisfy every single customer, so a bad review does not necessarily mean that your business or service is bad.

So take a step back, take a breath, and analyze why exactly the customer has left a negative review before you respond.



Step 2: Provide A Prompt Response

Reviews should be responded to promptly, especially negative ones. While it may be tempting to just delete negative reviews when possible or flag them as fake, doing so might actually hurt your credibility online. Businesses with only positive reviews can end up appearing untrustworthy to the public, since people assume that the reviews are company controlled.

Having said that, people want to know that their opinions are heard and taken seriously, and replying quickly goes a long way to appease them. Sometimes, it can even turn a dissatisfied customer into a happy one. You can take the help of these review response templates if you don’t want to spend too much time typing responses out manually.

Step 3: Be Courteous

So, you’ve got a negative review. As tempting as it may be to make excuses or to deny blame, keep in mind that this is a public forum, and your response is out there for the world to see. So whatever the customer might have said in a review, it helps your business’ public image to always be polite.

Apologize for the customer’s experience, and offer to resolve the issue in quick time. You can even offer an incentive or a discount to the customer for bringing the issue to your notice. However, do make sure to validate the issue and that the reviewer is indeed an actual customer before you make any promises.



Step 4: Resolve The Issue

Now that you’ve promised a customer that any issues they might have faced will be resolved, it’s time to make good on that promise. Many a time these issues are forgotten once the review is responded to, and this often leads to more scathing reviews later on.

In order to avoid that, make sure you actually take immediate action. Analyze the customer’s claim, and try to figure out where your business needs to improve.

Did the customer have an issue with the product? Was the service not up to their expectations? How do I improve on this, long-term? These are the kind of questions you need to ask yourself before you go about fixing the issue.

Step 5: Keep A Track Of Reviews

Resolving a single issue is one thing, but in order to reduce negative reviews, it is important to monitor them. Keep yourself updated on what people are saying about your business, and any possible pain points they might have with it. In order to make this process less cumbersome, you can use Sagentic’s tools to automate it and notify you when someone posts a review.

Monitoring reviews also lets you see if there is a pattern to any of the customer complaints. If there is, then you know that it is a persistent issue that demands immediate attention, and you can focus more resources towards resolving that quickly.


Step 6: Ask For More Reviews

Getting a good average star rating is a numbers game. According to a study, an increasing number of reviews are focusing on the positive aspects of products and services. By this trend, you can get a higher average star rating just by increasing the number of reviews you get.

You can do this by reaching out to your customer base via email or text, and asking them to leave a review for a recent purchase. Alternatively, you can also use a tool like Sagentic's that provides review generation as a part of its services.

Step 7: Follow Up

Following up with the reviewer after a review has been published is crucial to handling negative reviews. Let them know that you listened to them and took appropriate action, and request an updated review. Most people would be happy to do so if they feel that you’ve taken the effort to resolve their problem.

Doing this not only helps your rating, it also shows others that you care about your customers and the level of service that you offer them.