How to deal with negative reviews?

 In Internet Marketing, SEO

Combat Negative Reviews with these tips and tricks

The consumers now-a-days rely on the reviews before turning their head towards your online store for products and services or your brick and mortar shop. Most business owners fear the face of negative reviews because of which they sometimes don’t even care about their business listing online. Or, choose to ignore the reviews. Or, even worse engage in an online brawl.

According to an online survey conducted by Zendesk, a customer service software platform

88 percent have been influenced by an online customer service review when deciding what to buy.

This is the power of online reviews, positive and negative both.

Being a part of one of the best website designing company in South Delhi-India I think I can now comment on how customers react to the online review. Customers primarily rely on the reviews on leading sites like, Amazon, Google, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and more before making the decision.

There is always a right and a not so right track to walk on. Dealing with negative reviews is also a matter of perception. While negative reviews aren’t business owners favorite thing, but these are not so bad if handled with a positive approach.

The 3 General Mantras for a positive perspective

One reality check

We are not living in a Disneyland, so expecting all 5 stars every time is unreal.

Before the dos and don’ts of handling negative reviews online, I’d like you to shake hands with the 3 general mantras for dealing with negative reviews.

1st Mantra – Identify the bad among the bad

You must identify the real ones among all the bad or negative reviews. What I mean to say is that while some negative reviews will be the genuine ones. Ones which are written by the consumers who had a bad experience with your business.

The fake bad reviews will be the ones which are written only to trigger anger or to corrupt your online presence. These may be written by either your competitors or an ex-employee or anyone who aims to harm your business.

Business owners can easily identify such negative reviews as they tend to be provocative, vulgar or meaningless.

A new research out of Stanford and Cornell Universities recommended against reacting to similar troll activity.

2nd Mantra – Not a good idea to respond in a bad temper

Ever heard the saying;

“Getting angry is actually punishing yourself for the mistakes of other”

This is exactly what you will do if you choose to respond to the negative online reviews while on a foul mood.

Choosing to respond with a hot temperament will make things worse for you brand. Instead breathe, calm down, analyze the remark, study the details and then respond. If you are very upset with the negative review just move out from there for a day and come back the next day with a cool mind and a fresh approach.

3rd Mantra – Frame a blueprint

Writing lengthy responses to a negative review can distract you from striking the main point. So, have a though out strategy in your mind and then respond to the complaining customer in a short and easy to understand way.

Haphazardly bombarding the customer or consumer with your defensive statement can further destroy your brand’s image. So be careful of what your responding and more importantly how you are responding.

Negative Reviews surely are painful, and they need your attention.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you just received your first negative review or you have been receiving them for a while. Every time you get one, it will hurt your emotions and your pockets.

The most painful and annoying truth about the negative reviews is that it will be practically impossible to remove them. Unless they are an absolute junk.

Without doubt I can say that all the businesses work very hard to achieve customer satisfaction. And the idea of some customers getting so upset with us that they advertise their one bad experience everywhere possible, is very painful to handle.

So, what next?

Closing your eyes doesn’t means its night

If at all you choose to ignore the problem but turning your head the other ways, then let me tell you this will only worsen the situation. You look at it or you look away it will still be there.

Because it is generally believed:

“Silence means Yes”

The best approach is to deal with the situation to get your reputation back. Before checking how to deal with the negative feedback, let us first understand some basic rules.

Don’t take it to your heart

The first and foremost step you have to take while dealing with negative reviews is to NOT take them personally. I understand that your business is just like your baby and it hurts when someone says bad about it.

But if you take every word personally then what would you do when your business further grows. Because if now you are receiving 50 bad reviews on 500 total reviews. The number will soon become 500 on 10000 total reviews. You cannot take it personally every time.

Mug these words up:

Bad or Negative Reviews DO NOT Mean You or Your Business is Bad or Doing Something Wrong

Just face the situation and you will come out of it as a winner.

If you are in an online business of buying and selling then remember one thing crystal clear.

Reviews – Negative or Positive Are UNAVOIDABLE

And if you get deeply affected on every negative review them my friend how you will run the business. Simply understand that the bad review was a result of a bad day or a conflicting expectation.

Negative Reviews Gives Authenticity

As a customer would you believe if you saw only positive reviews in the feedback section? Well I definitely would doubt.

Realistically, even the big Daddy’s of the online business world experience negative reviews from their customers. Which is absolutely fine.

Negative or bad reviews make your positive reviews look more genuine.

A survey by Harvard Business School discovered that:

Majority of consumers trust reviews more when they see a mix of good and bad feedback.

If the feedback on your product or service page is 100% positive then something’s fishy there. Either the reviews are fake or they are monitored by the company before publishing for the users.

By showing all the reviews you declare to the consumers that you keep the information transparent with them and you have nothing to hide.

Consumers value an honest feedback. Negative or positive both will benefit them, and hence your business.

Genuine Negative Reviews are a Great Free Gift

A research by Lee Resource Int’ informs that for every customer who complains, 26 others remain silent. This means that one complaint = 26 angry customers.

To further explain, if you work on the feedback of one upset customer, you end up solving the problem of 26 customers.

Such kind of negative reviews from genuine customers are a huge free gift for businesses seriously looking for honest feedback. Such candid reviews can help you identify a probable area or section which needs improvement and somehow could not come to your notice.

When a customer shares a negative feedback you turn your head towards that area and make efforts to improve it further. This not only satisfies the upset customer but also prevent future similar feedback and gift you many more happy faces (customers).

Manage the Negative Reviews with these tips

The Mercury Level Should Be Down

Whenever you address any issue or a problem make sure you are not in a bad mood or in an angry state of mind. Because if you reply in an angry mood you will come across as a furious businessperson who could not handle negative reviews, let aside handling the business.

And this is not good for your business.

Take some time to calm yourself down and then type the response. Better first email a copy of your response to yourself to judge how it comes across online.

Is it really worth your time and response?

Some negative reviews are not even worth your time and response. You must be able to judge between worthy bad reviews and non-worthy bad reviews.

You do not have to necessarily respond to the reviews from a ‘frequent complainer’. Or by a consumer whose language and views are clearly illogical.

But be careful when you are choosing between the worthy and non-worthy. We do not want you to ignore the worthy negative reviews.

Read the Site’s “Terms & Conditions” or “Privacy Policy”

The site on which a consumer has posted his review may have some general rules related to privacy and reviewers.

Before typing your response just make sure that the review posted is not breaching any terms and condition clause under the site’s privacy policy.

If this is the case then you can inform the site about the breaking of rule and get the review removed.

In general there can be rules against swearwords, personal attacks and breaches of privacy. But there can also be some not so obvious rules. Some of them like prohibition to advertise, no use of all Capital Letters, no links in responses and more.

Carefully study the rules and take appropriate action.

Take down the Fake Reviews

The major question which occurs to businesses after seeing a negative review is;

Can I remove a negative online review?

If at all you come across a review which you suspect to

  • be fake,
  • be posted on purpose to malign your online presence by a competitor,
  • breaks the site’s rules,
  • contain vulgar language,
  • attack a person (customer service) and
  • includes some private information

Then contact the site, place the base of your suspicion and request the removal of the review.

Investigate the Complete Incident

Now that you know what the reviewer has to say, talk to your staff about the incident. Investigate the incident on your personal level and learn what actually happened.

In addition to this contact the reviewer privately to find out more about the incident. You can either personally message him directly or leave your phone number with the reviewer to contact you offline to discuss this concern.

Be Empathetic in your Response

Put your feet in your customer’s shoes.

Understand their pain and frustration. I know this may not be easy every time but whenever the consumer’s feedback is a genuine one, be empathetic towards them.

If you are planning to buy services or products from a particular business, and you check the reviews before finalizing the purchase. Among the many reviews you notice some negative reviews also.

Now which approach by the business will make it more likely to continue and finalize your purchase?

  1. Bombarding the customer with allegations to defend yourself
  2. Or, being apologetic and establishing the future steps taken to put a smile on the upset/angry customer.

The option you choose is quite obvious.

So yes respond publicly to the reviewer but it should be an apology for the unfortunate occurrence and a request for an opportunity to make get the issue back on track. You can use phrases like “I’d be frustrated, too.”

Drown the negative reviews

When you are in a business that gets majority of the customers from review-focused markets like App Stores, Amazon or Yelp then it would be really helpful if you focused more on getting higher number of positive reviews.

The numbers do matter after all.  One negative review is a big deal among 10 positive reviews. But 10 negative reviews among 100 positive reviews will not do much harm.

How to respond to the Negative Reviews?

Private. Public. Polite.

The 3P’s are the precise answer.

Address or investigate the problem in Private by

  • introducing yourself
  • thanking them for using your business and sharing the feedback
  • apologize for the unpleasant experience
  • Summarize your understanding of their concerns.

If in case you feel you are not at fault here, then you can still send the above information privately with anywhere been mentioned you are at fault.

Then after further investigating, offer your solution or compensation against the problem.

Acknowledge the solution in Public.

Now since you have conversed privately with the customer acknowledge the concern and your solution for it, publicly.

By being responsive to feedback you can see an increase in your reputation among the consumers. Even if it’s taking longer than standard time for the reviewer to respond to you, still post the comment publicly. This way you can inform other consumers that you have tried genuinely to solve the concern.

Be Polite in your language

A negative review will not have done much harm to your business. But your choice of words can surely do. An impolite, destructive or dismissive response from you is capable of more damage to your reputation.

Choose the right words, coated with politeness and professionalism. Deal with the issue like an adult and NEVER ever engage in personal comments or worse insult.

The same is true for private responses. Don’t forget, the reviewer can post the private derogatory messages online anytime.

Learn and Move on

I have never come across someone who like to be criticized.

I mean no body love criticism. But when you take it positively, it becomes a learning, not criticism. In online industry particularly you can benefit the most out of the negative reviews. This is because customers are much more likely to be honest with you online than they are in person.

Learn the bitter and challenging truths about your business with negative online reviews.

Contact our top SEO Company in South Delhi NCR – India

If you are struggling to deal with some tricky negative reviews about your business then contact our leading SEO Company in Malviya Nagar, Delhi. We will handle the concern in the best possible manner for you to make sure you reap the benefits of online business.

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