How to handle negative reviews?

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Online reviews on sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Tripadvisor allow people not only to share their experiences with businesses, but also to share their experiences with other customers. Customers rely on these reviews to discover companies, products, services, and brands. This makes it very important for companies to learn how to respond to negative & positive reviews and customer feedback.

94% of customers said that bad reviews would prevent them from using the service.
53% of customers expect companies to respond to negative reviews within a week.
45% of customers said that they may be interested in businesses that responded to negative reviews.

As for how to deal with positive or neutral reviews, treat them as an opportunity to strengthen the customer’s impression of your company.

How to respond to negative comments?

It is difficult to respond to negative comments. Bad reviews can cause harm.

This is a template that you can use to learn how to respond to negative comments:

Dear [NAME OF REVIEWER], thank you for sharing your feedback. Sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations. We will do better in the future.

If you have any further comments, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to contact [insert contact information]. If you give us a chance to serve you again, we are happy to get things done.

Obviously, your response to negative reviews will vary by situation, but the above template can be considered a universal template.

Your customers want to be responded to individually and served in person. So don’t forget your title, and if possible, avoid using the generic “respected guest” or “respected customer”.

Most reviews and comments are added in Google map, Facebook, OTA platforms and TripAdvisor and it’s easy to get the reviewers’ name and use it as a way to  personalize your response.

Remember to say “thank you” for any review

Show your customers that your company appreciates and values feedback. Always remember to say “thank you” when responding to comments (even for bad comments).

Here are some templates of saying “thank you” for your reference:

“Thank you for letting us notice this. We are sorry to give you a bad experience. We will try to do better.”

“Thank you for letting us know about this. Your feedback helps us do better. We are investigating this issue and hope to resolve it in a timely and accurate manner.”

Apology and sympathy

Saying sorry shows that you care about your customers.

Even if it’s not your fault, say sorry. This is a great opportunity to build and trust between your company or brand and your customers.

Just like other replies, please keep a short and sweet apology:

“We apologize that our service did not meet your expectations.”

Take responsibility.

Stop Making Excuses.

Some things you can say:

“We have always been committed to providing a great experience, and we get frustrated when we fail to meet expectations. Thank you for taking the time to let us notice this. We will use feedback to make us better and make sure that this situation does not Happen again.”

Get things done

When dealing with negative feedback, try to avoid making cookie-cutter responses. Include detailed information about the customer experience (if relevant) in your response and describe any changes or improvements you have made or will make based on their feedback.

If there is nothing you can do to resolve what happened, here is a compelling way to respond to reviewers, gain ownership, and promise to do things well in the future:

“I apologize on behalf of everyone in [Company Name]. Please know that your situation is an exception. As you have seen in other comments, we are poud of our service for our customers. We are committed to improving our staff’s service. Please accept my sincerest apologies.”

It is best for you and your customers to directly talk about the problems they have encountered and deal with them offline. This can avoid any further embarrassment about your problem and prevent interference from external sources. Therefore, you should provide the customer’s direct contact information in your comment response.

Here are some things you can say:

“We hope to have the opportunity to investigate your feedback further. Would you please contact me via [email address] or call our team via [phone number]? We will work with you to resolve any issues as soon as possible.”

“We are sorry that your experience did not match your expectations. We would like to know more details from you so that we can provide a better experience next time. You can always send us via [email address] or [phone number] to contact us. Thanks again for your feedback!”

Seek a second chance

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I’m sorry we failed to meet your expectations. I will be glad to have the opportunity to win your business. Next time you are at [company name], please call me or find me.”

Reply promptly

Remember valuable customer review data: 53.3% of customers who write reviews expect a response in 7 days or less.

With the help of a reputation management platform, you can set comment reminders to notify you when you receive new comments. In addition, you definitely don’t want to manually log in and log out of a business review site when you are dealing with multiple feedbacks, a comprehensive review tool may be useful.

Remember: customers are waiting for your response.

Anyone who is in charge of a review response should understand the guidelines of each review site and turn the collected feedback into valuable insights for your company.

Create an audit response policy

If your company operates in multiple locations, you may assign more than one person to respond directly to online reviews.

This makes it crucial to develop an organization-wide policy to guide your company’s response to reviews.

Your policy should cover things like what language and tone you should use, the timeline for giving back to customers, who in your organization will respond to  comments, and what is the ideal response rate. Listing items that may affect your company’s processing of comments.

How to respond to positive reviews?

Positive reviews will not drive away your customers like negative reviews. Then why respond?

The short answer is: responding to positive reviews directly transfers into business  opportunities.

This is a generic template, you can use it to respond to positive reviews:

Dear [customer name], thank you for leaving us such a wonderful review. We are very happy that you like your experience; our staff will be very happy to read what you have written. We take customer experience and satisfaction as our top priority. So thank you for your kind words, and we look forward to seeing you again.

If a customer compliments you in person, the most natural response is to say thank you. The same goes for praise.

Responding to positive reviews is a great way to support your marketing efforts, learn how to build customer loyalty, and pay more attention to important aspects of your customers.

Thank you customers who took the time to share positive experiences. After all, good reviews and high scores are powerful evidence of attracting new potential customers and influencing their decision-making process.

When responding to positive reviews, respond publicly. Your response may be specific to a person, but on sites such as Google, Facebook and Tripadvisor, thousands of  people will read what you write. Therefore, don’t send private “thank you” messages to customers. Take the opportunity to strengthen the positive message and show the world how much you care about comments (good or bad).

Some things you can say:

“This review made us happy all day!”

“Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us such a wonderful review.”

“We thank you very much. Thank you for sharing your comments with us and the community.”

Often, positive reviews will quote specific content that customers like most about their experience. Identify them and mention them in your response. This allows you to do some good reputation marketing .

Replying to comments is a way for you to share the best feedback you have received while also letting your team know that they are doing a good job.

Tell customers that you want to see them again.

Make happy customers feel good by inviting them back. This has two things: First, it turns customers into repeat customers. Second, it shows other online users that your business that people want to come back to.

The smartest response usually includes promoting another product, service, or feature plan and it’s a good way to up-sell. These responses must be specific to the business and here are some examples:

“We are glad you like our restaurant! If you come on Saturday, we think you will like our new food menu.”

Share comments with your team.

There is nothing better than showing your team a message of satisfying customers. By sharing comments, you can encourage more of this behavior. This also has the effect of improving employee morale, so be sure to share positive reviews to your team.

Share comments with the world.

If you have been getting 5-star ratings and reviews, please don’t hesitate to show off. Carefully pick your best feedback and share it on social media.

Enlarge comment power

The impact of user-generated content (such as those found in reviews) is more powerful and effective than advertising.

How to respond to neutral comments (3 stars)?

Neutral reviews usually combine positive reviews with negative feedback which means you must determine the most appropriate comment response message for these reviews.

However, in general, neutral comments are short and lack details. They happen because customers don’t feel strong enough in either way to describe their experience in detail.

If this is the case, the following is an appropriate way to respond to neutral comments:

Dear [CUSTOMER NAME], thank you for your review. We would love to hear more about your experience so that we can use your valuable feedback to provide a better experience next time. If you want to share any further comments or suggestions, please contact [Contact Information]. Thank you again for taking the time to review our business!

With the template in mind, you should turn your attention to the details of making an excellent neutral review response in the eyes of your customers.

Before writing the rest of the neutral comment response, please start in the right way and thank the customer for the time they took to write the comment.

If the 3-star review contains positive feedback, be sure to pay attention to it by mentioning it in your response: “We are happy to hear that the quality of our services meets your expectations.”

Even if the comment contains critical comments, please start your response with affirming the positive aspects of the comment.

Solve negative problems.

If you receive a neutral comment with negative feedback, please confirm the specific problem the customer encountered in the experience. You can also issue a short apology and briefly explain what happened.

Get more details offline.

If you want to ask the customer for more detailed information, please contact the customer privately or ask the customer to contact you privately. In this way, you can investigate the situation more deeply while preventing the details of possible negative experiences from being made public. This is also a good customer experience management strategy.

You can say something like this:

“Your business means a lot to us, so if you have other feedback, please feel free to contact us via [your contact information].”

I Hope the above suggestion can help you to solve reviews of your services.
Remember to define your SOP about online reputation management.