Every business owner agrees that online reviews are crucial. It can either make or break the deal with your potential customers. 93% of the customers read online reviews before making a purchase and trusting your brand. Not all of us might understand how or to what extent these reviews matter. But it is incredibly vital when it comes to the organic visibility of your brand.
Unlike positive reviews that can build customer interaction, negative reviews can ruin your online reputation. Customer reviews highly impact local businesses as they allow customers to decide whether or not to patronize the brand. Like personal recommendations, online reviews also hold a special place in the customer's mind. It gives a better idea about the quality and effectiveness of the products they are looking for.
Responding to positive reviews is easy. However, it is the negative reviews that are tricky to handle. Likewise, the criticism might not always come easy. However, there are specific tips that you can follow to protect your brand's reputation. So, without further ado, let's dive right into the tips.
1. Answer Quickly And Thoughtfully
If your customer leaves a negative review, in probability, they are upset. In such cases, you would not want to offend your customers by delaying your response. Try to be as swift as possible and address this issue right away. Moreover, appreciate the efforts undertaken by them to bring their not-so-good experience to your knowledge.
Try to identify the pain points and reply accordingly. Make sure not to do anything that will further agitate your customers. Be honest and transparent with your approach and try not to give false or vague hope.
2. Apologize And Acknowledge The Issue
Most negative reviews are generally complaints. So when your customers are lodging complaints, they naturally want to be heard. First, start by apologizing and empathizing with the issue. Then, try to get to the root cause without playing the blame game.
Allow your customers to know that you genuinely regret for them have a terrible experience with your brand and that they did not end on such a positive note. While apologizing, explain the issue and talk about the how's and why's of such troubles. 33% of the hostile customers turn positive after they receive a justified explanation.
3. Customize All Your Responses
Your customers share their experiences with you because they expect to connect. In these cases, they expect a customized answer from your side with regards to the problems shared. Do not put in a pre-formatted message for all the negative reviews. Give them the attention they deserve and tackle each problem personally so that they do not face such kinds of issues in the future. Genuinely show emotion but do not allow yourself to get too personal.
4. Take It Offline
Sometimes it is best to respond to angry customer's offline. To avoid exchanging harsh thoughts online for everyone to see, it is better to take the discussion offline. Leave a general, thoughtful comment on the public platform and then reach out via mail or customer id. Doing this will allow you to tackle the problem on a more personal level. However, all your communications should be strictly professional and only concerning the specific issues mentioned.
5. Don’t Get Defensive
When someone criticizes you or your products, it is normal for you to get annoyed. However, when a customer is sharing their problems with you, it is safe to keep yourself under control. Avoid indulging yourself in any online battle.
Take some time to pull your thoughts together and then reply. Also, take your response into account so that you can view it later about how your thoughts turned out. If you feel there was a total miscommunication, be genuinely apologetic and don't try to get too defensive.
6. Don't Ignore Any Reviews.
Ignoring your customer can be as bad as putting out a perfectly positive review. This will also allow your reviewer to feel that their anger is justified since you are not addressing the issue. Moreover, your potential customers will start wondering if you care about the bad experience you just had. Being unresponsive might signal that you are no empathizing with your customers. Therefore strategically tackle every review and be prepared to respond to all of them.
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