The customer is always right...
… but are they?
You might think otherwise when you see a customer leave a bad review.
The first reaction you might have is to be in denial and a bit angry. Then, you'll feel defensive.
It's easy to let those feelings get to you and respond angrily to your customers.
Or even worse, completely ignore their real concerns about their negative feedback.
But before you decide to bury the negative review like it never happened... I need you to know one important thing...
It's not the end of the world!
Responding to negative reviews can actually help you better connect with your customers.
And when you do it right, it can actually increase your sales.
So keep reading as I tell you why responding to negative reviews is a must for your eCommerce business to thrive.
I'll also share how you can turn negative reviews into a positive impact on your brand.
Let's start with...
How Can Negative Reviews Impact Your Business?
You might think that responding to just the positive reviews is much easier.
And you are right. It plays a big role in your social proof, after all.
On the other hand, receiving negative reviews is hard.
Especially when you think of all the hard work and effort you put into your business.
Furthermore, negative reviews can have adverse effects on your online reputation.
Almost all consumers say that seeing a bad review convinced them to avoid a business.
When this happens, your sales revenue will suffer.
Small business owners feel its impact, too. When they have a 1-1.5 rating on Google, they generate 33% less revenue.
I told you, it's tough out there!
But that doesn't have to happen to your brand.
In fact, negative reviews are extremely important when showing your brand's authenticity.
You see, having only positive reviews on your site can appear fake.
Having a reasonable amount of negative feedback actually makes potential customers trust you more.
And when you respond to negative reviews, your customers are more likely to return to your brand.
Here are more reasons why you need to respond to negative feedback about your business.
3 Must-Know Reasons Why You Should Respond To Negative Reviews
When you respond to a bad review, it can lead to a potentially uncomfortable online interaction. But before you back out, you should know that responding can...
1. Solidify Your Online Reputation
Let's face it: Retaining a good business reputation is essential.
So when you leave a negative review unresolved, it can severely damage your business name. It can make potential clients and customers wary of you.
But tending to customers' experience can show other customers how reliable you are.
Showing excellent customer service to an upset customer can make them trust you more.
That's how you create solid reputation management.
In fact, your online reputation is not the only thing you win. When you respond to negative online reviews, you can also...
2. Win Your Customers Back
Not all is lost!
You can still win back a customer who left a negative review.
You see, 70% of unhappy customers will interact again with a business if their concerns are resolved.
Seven out of 10 consumers also changed their online reviews after a brand replied to them.
That's right. An unhappy customer can be the perfect social-proof asset you can have.
When all of these go together, you can ultimately...
3. Increase Sales
As I mentioned, people seeing your online reviews being tended to means they can trust you more.
Let me explain further.
When you fix your customer's negative experience, it shows how reliable you are. It also highlights how you care about customer satisfaction.
And that is something consumers look for in a business. They want to know that their online reviews matter.
You can also gain your prospects' trust through this.
So, all of your efforts in answering negative online reviews convert to more sales.
Are you ready to gain insight?
It's time to buckle up and learn...
How To Seamlessly Deal With Negative Online Reviews?
1. Quickly Respond
Time is money.
This rings especially true when you are a business owner.
On top of your day-to-day operations, you also need to focus on digital marketing, tending to new customers, client services, etc.
You might think that one negative review is not worth your time.
But it is!
In fact, it should be on top of your priorities.
If your customer felt dissatisfied to the point of leaving a negative online review... Then you should take it as seriously as they do.
Plus, if you leave it unanswered for too long, they will think that your apology is insincere.
A future customer can also see how fast you respond to negative comments. Timestamps don't lie!
So what should you do?
Respond in a timely manner. Try to respond within a day or two from when they posted their bad experience.
Keep in mind that each review is valuable feedback. So make sure to collect reviews and document your process as a reference for dealing with future negative reviewers.
To create a great response, ensure that you...
2. Personalize Your Response
Nobody wants to be greeted with the generic "Dear Customer" or "Dear Guest." Particularly when a customer wants you to fix their problems.
It's crucial that you mention their name. Most of your reviews are on review sites such as Google reviews and Facebook reviews. Getting your reviewer's name won't be a problem at all.
When you mention their name, your customer will know that your responses are not just copy-pasted. It shows you are dedicated to customer engagement, as well.
So call a customer by their name, especially for the ones who had a negative customer experience.
The best responses to a customer also...
3. Thank Them For Leaving A Review
Saying thank you for a negative review?
I know it sounds like a contradiction. But think of it this way...
Someone took the time to let you know about their customer issue. They will only do so when they feel strongly about your brand.
Yes, that includes a negative review.
Additionally, it can also diffuse the situation. You can make the reviewer feel heard and appreciated.
Here is how you can say your gratitude:
Start with a simple phrase like "Thank you for bringing this to our attention" or "Thank you for taking the time to write a review."
Negative review responses like these also hint that their feedback helps your brand.
Another way you can turn your negative review response into a positive experience is...
4. Apologize And Empathize
Acknowledging and thanking your customer for the review — CHECK!
It's now time to meet expectations and apologize.
Even if it's not your fault, say you are sorry anyway. Doing so will strengthen the trust a loyal customer has in your brand when they read reviews.
Brands that are too proud to say sorry are off-putting, too.
To give a sincere apology, put yourself in their shoes.
Keep in mind that behind the review is a fellow human being.
So empathize with the reviewer. It will stop you from being too defensive about a single review.
You can do this by saying, "We are so sorry that our product did not meet your expectations. This is on us."
Speaking of owning up on bad reviews, you have to...
5. Take Responsibility
Do you know what the last thing your customers expect from your review response?
Even if it's not your fault, it's best to be the better person.
But while you take responsibility, still highlight how your brand's values. So let them know that their bad experience is the exception, not the rule.
Reinforce that you hold yourself to a high standard.
You can do so by providing an explanation if needed. No business is perfect, after all.
But do not make excuses; explain what went down. It can give your buyer some clarity about what happened.
One of the most helpful tips I can tell you when dealing with a review is to...
6. Make It Right
Now that you have your reviewer's primary concern at hand, it's time to make things right.
Communicate the improvements you made as an impact of their feedback.
Another optional step you can take is to offer them a discount or a special promotion... or even a refund. This step can ease the tension.
It can also be a good way to ask for a testimonial once the issue is resolved.
You might be concerned that other reviews will follow suit, and shoppers will leave bad reviews just for free stuff.
Yes, that can happen. But when you attract these types of buyers, you are welcoming in the wrong leads, anyway.
Besides, a small discount can go a long way. It can turn your bad reviewers into loyal ones.
When all else fails, you can always...
7. Take The Conversation Offline
When you take all the steps mentioned, then you can win over even the grumpiest reviewer.
But there's always that possibility that you don't win them all.
It's true; you should openly respond to each review you get.
But you should also take control of how your communication goes. It will save you from embarrassing yourself, as well as prevent outer intrusion.
What does this mean for your business?
It means you can take the discussion offline.
A good example is by giving them direct contact information. Work out their issues through a phone call or direct message on social media.
Keep your response short and to the point.
For instance, you can reply, "We would like the chance to further examine your feedback. You can reach us anytime at [your email address] or [phone number]."
And that is how you...
Make Your Negative Online Reviews Work For You, Not Against You!
Let's face it...
Getting negative reviews is awful.
But properly handling them can help grow your business and gain new leads.
As long as you let your customers know their opinion matters!
So make sure you watch out for what Debutify has in store for your reviews. You can turn your social proof into a conversion-boosting tool.
A bonus tip: To avoid negative social proof and negative reviews altogether, guarantee that your eCommerce website gives your visitors a seamless experience.
Psst... Debutify Reviews can help you with that! It's one of the best review apps for eCommerce sites, so you should utilize it!