Bad reviews and how to handle them

  • Nicole Lester
  • Uncategorized
  • Apr 06, 2020
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We all have an opinion on everything. When it comes to business, people’s opinion is very important. It’s that mouth-to-mouth advertising that helps business grow or makes it go down. 

There are special websites for customers’ reviews like Yelp or Google Reviews. But reviews can be submitted also on Facebook, Twitter, forums etc. Many consumers check reviews carefully before purchasing a product or service.

According to a research by Local Consumer Review Survey, 87% of the customers will only consider using a business if it has at least a 3 stars rating; 45% of consumers won’t consider using a business at all if it has 1-3 stars. They find it to be a poor quality business.

Bad reviews don’t have to be all that bad       

Receiving negative reviews is not something we aim for, but it is also not the end of the world. Actually, in some situations bad reviews can even provide you with more relevant information than the positive reviews. Customers complaining about broken website pages, delayed deliveries or unsatisfactory customer service are all kinds of insights that should be used to improve your business.

Such reviews shouldn’t be taken as an insult towards your company, but as information to improve the way in which you work and communicate. Customers will always come across strong when they’re unhappy, but that’s their right, they paid for your products or services. Start looking at bad reviews as something positive and take advantage of them to make your business better and your customers satisfied. Instead of fretting about it, don’t panic and take it as an opportunity to shine.

No Need to Hide

It is very tempting to just delete the bad review once you see it. However, leaving the review will come across more honest as people will be able to see you have nothing to hide. This will build your client’s trust and provides you with an opportunity to handle bad reviews in a proper way. Moreover, it can also come across as unrealistic to just have positive reviews on your products or services. 

Act Upon It

Bad reviews are written with the purpose to inform other consumers, but especially to inform you to improve your business and fix the issue. Consumers expect you to act. Here’s what you can do in case of a bad review:

  1. Reply quickly – nobody is good at waiting, especially when it comes to something negative. People just want to deal with their issue right away. When you see a bad review that really needs your attention, reply to it as soon as possible. Don’t let it linger there for too long. It is best to reply within at least 24 hours.
  2. Apologize – After carefully analyzing and understanding the issue the customer has faced, it is important to apologize for what has happened. Don’t forget – customer’s always right! So don’t try to explain where they’re wrong. Simply show that you care and apologize to them. Sometimes this is all they need.
  3. Empathize – When you look at things only from your point of view it is really easy not to understand your customer. This may also lead to handling the case poorly. Make sure to put yourself in the same position, to look at the matter from the customer’s point of view. This will help you in resolving the matter as you will already know what the customer may expect to be done. 
  4. Not everything needs to go public – You don’t need to resolve the whole issue in front of everyone’s eyes. In some cases, it is okay if you ask the person to send you their contact details as a private message so that you can handle the case privately. This will be indicative to everyone that you can be trusted and you are willing to go the extra mile to fix the matter for the customers.
  5. Always be grateful – Saying “thank you” to the positive feedback comes naturally. When someone is giving you negative feedback it is even more important to thank them. This type of feedback is what can help you improve your business and service customers better in the future.
  6. Update – It can occur that even if you have already fixed the issue, customers are not willing to remove their review. Since you resolved the issue it is wise to add a comment that states the case has been resolved. This will show all other consumers that you have paid attention to the case and you have done something to fix it.

If you are missing inspiration on how to handle your bad reviews in a great way, take an example from a pizzeria (Botto Bistro) in California. They decided to give discounts for every bad review they received. Everyone that gave them a 1-star review got a 50% discount on their next order. The effect of this strategy had been more than positive. They have gotten famous as the “Yelp’s worst-reviewed pizzeria”. Surely, there were orders raining after this advertisement. It’s a really nice example of turning negative reviews into something positive.

Stay “All-Inclusive” 

There will always be bad reviews as there is always room for improvement for each and every business. Receiving good reviews and having a good commercial is great. If you never receive negative reviews, how would you know what you need to improve and what are the customers’ demands? Stay all-inclusive, towards the positive and the negative. 

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