Negative Online Customer Review Recovery

 In Core Local®, Digital Marketing
Negative Online Customer Review Recovery

People trust people. You’ve likely read an online customer review before purchasing a product or hiring a company. Consumers claim they are more likely to do business with a company after reading positive online customer reviews. According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging.

Makes sense doesn’t it? However, not all businesses gather, encourage, or even display online customer reviews. Why? 50% of businesses fear potential negative exposure from online customer reviews. However, did you know – last year, more positive online customer reviews were written than negative online customer reviews? We’ve also read that 90% of unhappy customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently and 15% say they are more likely to do business with a company after reading a response to a negative online customer review that was resolved.

So, how do you approach a negative online customer review? Entrepreneur lists a couple of things to remember:

  1. Your reviewers are your paying customers.
  2. Your reviewers are human beings with (sometimes unpredictable) feelings and sensitivities.
  3. Your reviewers are vocal and opinionated (otherwise they would not be writing reviews!).
  4. It is never recommended to get into a battle of words with a customer over an online customer review.

Don’t hide from your mistakes or try to hide your negative online customer reviews. You can’t get rid of a negative online customer review. You can’t hide from it, so don’t try. If it was your fault or the fault of an employee, make it a point to acknowledge your failure and to do whatever it takes to make it right instead of making it go away. Since you can’t get rid of negative reviews, the best thing you can do is encourage your happy customers to write online customer reviews. The most positive, current online customer reviews you have, the more the negative online customer reviews will be suppressed.

Example of a response:

“We are so sorry you had a bad experience [at our restaurant, with our techs, etc]. Please note this is not typically how we do business and wish to make it up to you. Please give me a call at your earliest convenience to discuss.”

Don’t make excuses. Focus on solutions. Set your ego aside and makes amends. Everyone makes mistakes. You’re human, just like your customers. Even if you aren’t truly at fault, remember the old adage “the customer is always right.”? Demonstrate that you learned something from the experience and took action so it may never happen again.

Example of a response:

“We’re very sorry your order was incorrect. We understand that was a huge hassle for you! We are working with our team on quality control to ensure your order, and everyone else’s, is correct in the future. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and would be happy to discuss this with you further if you would please give me a call at your convenience.”

Ask your customers for feedback to improve your business. Most of the time, people just want to be heard. Therefore, invite them to help you build a better business. Make your customers feel like they are contributing their ideas for how you can improve your business, product offerings, or customer service.

Example of a response:

“We appreciate your feedback and apologize for the inconvenience. Please always feel free to fill out the contact form on our website and drop suggestions on how we can better our [customer service, products, etc.].”

Do good work and move on from negative online customer reviews. Operate your business in the best interests of your customers. You can’t always please everyone, but you can certainly try. However, there is no reason to feel burdened with a sense of overwhelming guilt or shame if a customer leaves a negative online customer review. At some point, you have to move on and continue running the best business you can run. Be sure to honor every complaint that comes in with a generous response that provides a short-term fix to win the customer back and a long-term solution to prevent the issue from happening again.

Manage your online reputation

Interested in your online customer reviews? Contact us today to learn more about our online customer review tracking tool.

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