For the most part, the holiday shopping season is merry for brands. While heightened interest in your products or services is a festive treat, increased sales serve as the icing on the cake.
The surge in sales, however, naturally corresponds to more customer engagement and, consequently, elevated expectations. As consumers actively participate in holiday shopping, receiving negative online reviews is inevitable.
This makes managing and responding to online reviews, especially the negative ones, a critical aspect of maintaining a brand’s reputation during the busy season.
If you need guidance on handling customer complaints, this online reputation management (ORM) blog goes over:
- Reputation Management Tips for Dealing With Negative Feedback
- Responding to Negative Comments
- Examples of Online Review Responses to Negative Feedback
Reputation Management Tips for Dealing With Negative Feedback
Handling customer complaints is not easy, but you can do something to make it less stressful.
Here are five reputation management tips for dealing with negative feedback during the holiday season:
- Embrace the Busyness of the Holiday Shopping Season
- Automate Review Monitoring for Proactive Reputation Management
- Don’t Delete Negative Holiday Season Reviews
- Have a Dedicated Customer Feedback Strategies Team
- Prepare Reputation Repair Strategies for Different Cases
1. Embrace the Busyness of the Holiday Shopping Season
First, welcome the holidays and all that comes with it. Take a proactive step in ensuring mental preparedness, recognizing that the holiday shopping season, with its mix of fun and stress, demands a certain level of mental resilience.
Before and during the holidays, equip yourself and your team with the mindset needed to weather the busyness but also to find moments of enjoyment and accomplishment amidst the hustle.
Take into account the typical business trends during this time, including the increased activity and necessary workforce. Factor in potential team members on leave who need filling in to ensure smooth operations.
Related blog: How E-Commerce Reviews Earn You More Holiday Sales
2. Automate Review Monitoring for Proactive Reputation Management
Automation isn’t just about efficiency; it helps you collect more comprehensive data. Manually searching for mentions might cause you to miss some. Automation ensures that every mention, even those tucked away in less popular forums, is promptly brought to your attention.
Mentions could be your brand, products, services or even key personnel like your top executives, as well as other brands and individuals associated with your business.
As you keep an eye on your mentions, note where most holiday rush reviews or mentions pop up. This way, you’ll know which platforms need your attention the most. You should also have maintained a business listing on platforms more influential in your industry or region.
Moreover, look beyond individual reviews, including social media feedback, and identify trends or patterns in customer feedback. Recognize recurring themes, whether they are related to specific products, customer service experiences or other aspects of your business.
3. Don’t Delete Negative Holiday Season Reviews
While aiming for 5-star ratings is ideal, having less-than-perfect e-commerce reviews adds authenticity to your business image and offerings. These reviews serve as valuable indicators, offering insights into areas where improvements can be made.
Welcoming a blend of positive and constructive feedback doesn’t just show transparency; it also guides improvements, fostering the overall development and refinement of your products or services. However, ensure to let these insights go unaddressed. Respond to them and resolve any needed issues.
4. Have a Dedicated Customer Feedback Strategies Team
Establishing a specialized team for customer feedback strategies is a proactive measure to seamlessly navigate the incoming tide of reviews. With this approach to responding to negative comments or social media feedback, you won’t have to figure out who’s going to do what only when the influx of holiday rush reviews starts.
Your customer feedback strategies team must also be well-prepared to handle various types of negative reviews, addressing concerns related to product or service quality, customer service and logistics. Additionally, another person or team focused on customer experience management would help. Their role is to offer guidance and act on any resolutions.
Apart from dedicating people from your in-house team, an alternative approach could be engaging a temporary agency for online review responses and monitoring. This provides additional support for responding to negative comments to ensure you have the assistance necessary during the busiest time of the year.
5. Prepare Reputation Repair Strategies for Different Cases
In the worst-case scenarios, you want to come prepared with an online reputation recovery strategy. For example, if your business is being bombarded with fake negative holiday season reviews, a strategic course of action could involve temporarily disabling reviews and reaching out to the administrator of the specific platform where you are being targeted.
Remember, once you’re faced with a reputational crisis, time is of the essence. You can neither respond late nor react prematurely — both can be equally detrimental. As such, having a well-defined online reputation recovery plan is essential to mitigate further damage to your brand.
Responding to Negative Comments
To further help you in handling customer complaints, here’s a breakdown of what you must do to specifically reply to negative feedback:
- Respond to negative reviews promptly, within 24 to 48 hours. Acknowledge the customer’s feedback to show that you are attentive and value their input.
- Begin your response with empathy and understanding towards the customer’s concerns. Acknowledge their experience and demonstrate that you take their feedback seriously.
- Offer a sincere apology for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction experienced by the customer. A genuine apology goes a long way in showing your commitment to customer satisfaction.
- Propose a practical solution to address the specific issues raised in the negative review. Whether it involves a refund, replacement or additional support, outline how you intend to resolve the problem.
- Encourage further discussion or resolution offline by providing contact information or directing the customer to a private channel to continue the conversation. This demonstrates a commitment to addressing the issue professionally.
With this, take the negative feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve. Identify patterns or recurring issues mentioned in multiple reviews and incorporate constructive criticism into your business practices for continuous customer experience management enhancement.
Moreover, throughout the response, maintain a professional and courteous tone. Avoid becoming defensive or engaging in a public argument. Your aim is to showcase a commitment to customer satisfaction and resolution.
Examples of Online Review Responses to Negative Feedback
Whether you want to reply to a review on Google or social media feedback on Facebook, here are some examples to guide your responses.
Example of empathetic acknowledgment
Hi [Customer’s Name],
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We sincerely apologize for the less-than-ideal experience you’ve had.
Your concerns are important to us at [company name], and we understand how [specific issue] may have impacted your satisfaction. We want to make things right and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further.
Please reach out to us at [contact information] so we can address your concerns directly.
[Your Business Name]
Example of solution-oriented response
Hello [Customer’s Name],
We appreciate your honest feedback, and we’re truly sorry to hear about your experience. Our team is committed to resolving this for you. To address [specific issue], we’d like to offer [specific solution: a refund, replacement, or additional support].
Please connect with us at [contact information], and we’ll ensure a swift resolution.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
[Your Business Name]
Example of learning and improvement focus
Dear [Customer’s Name],
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. We’re genuinely sorry for any inconvenience caused by [specific issue]. Your insights are invaluable, and we’re using this opportunity to enhance our [product/service] for a better experience.
If you want to talk further about your concerns, please reach out to us at [contact information].
Appreciate your understanding,
[Your Business Name]
Remember to tailor these examples to the specific details of the negative feedback and your business’s tone and style.
Better Customer Experience Management Through ORM
Whether you need help in responding to negative comments or establishing an online reputation recovery plan for the holidays, Rize Reviews can help.
Rize Reviews is a team of reputation experts. Talk to our team.