How to effectively tackle negative customer reviews

The statistics cannot be ignored – 9 in 10 refer to online reviews to guide their purchase decision. Social and digital media has democratised marketing. People aren’t just consumers. They can actively participate in the marketing process. As such, they have to be taken seriously.

One of the realities of customer reviews is they can go either way – positive or negative. You’ll have to equally embrace them and respond accordingly. Ignoring negative reviews should not be in your playbook, regardless of how bad they can be. Treat them as positive criticisms to help you improve. Here are some other ideas you can consider to use negative reviews to your advantage.

1. Respond as soon as you can

You might not have the answer the customer wants to hear. But don’t wait until you have it. A swift response will demonstrate to the customer your willingness to hear them out. Not responding quickly or not responding at all may suggest you’re turning a blind eye to the problem raised. That perception can be more damaging than the problem itself.

2. Customer is always right

It’s the golden rule of customer service. The fact is, you’ve inconvenienced them or created a poor experience. Regardless of the reasons, which may be beyond your control, taking the initiative to say you’re sorry can soothe the annoyed, frustrated and dissatisfied.

3. Offer compensation

Offering compensation communicates your sincerity in apologising. You’ve put a tangible value over your words of apology. However, carefully think through your choice of compensation. It should not be a convenient option, for example, left-overs from your previous range of giveaways. As the saying goes, “it’s the thought that counts”.

4. Keep them posted

If you’ve committed to looking into the incident that caused the unhappiness, keep customers posted of the process or outcome. It’s important they know you’re working on it. In fact, once you’ve resolved the matter, you might want to invite them to experience the change if relevant.

Don’t ignore negative reviews. You can turn them to your advantage. To learn how, connect with us here.

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