Online reviews. They can build your brand and bring you credibility, or they can damage your reputation and leave your company underwater. Consider this, one negative review can turn away 22% of customers, while three is enough to drive 60% of customers away. If you’re unlucky enough to where your negative reviews pop-up in Google search, you’re set to lose nearly 70% of customers. With all that’s at stake, it only makes sense to reach out to customers to change their bad reviews. But should you do it? Surprisingly, there’s no one answer to this question.
How to Ask for a Review and When You Shouldn’t
There are times where it is not advised to reach out to your customers to change their reviews. If you haven’t done everything in your power to resolve the issue that caused the negative review in the first place, asking a customer to change the review can backfire. You and your business could quickly be viewed as untrustworthy.
Image Source: Amazon
You should also never incentivize a request for a review change. Offering a free product or discount in exchange for an updated or edited review is unethical.
Secondly, in general, you shouldn’t ask a belligerent or vengeful customer for a review. It rarely ends well.
How can you tell if a customer is vengeful? Your greatest clue is in the words they used in their original review. Overly angry customers use language that is abusive and demeaning. Their goal is to inflict maximum damage to your company and isolate you from other customers.
Source: Google Images
Customers who are this angry only want to punish you, and a harshly-toned, abusive review is an easy way to do it. Although you should do everything in your power to mitigate their issues, these customers aren’t looking to do you any favors. They’re looking to destroy your company, and they may even be trolls.
Anything you say will likely fuel their angry emotions and abusive behavior. You should not ask these customers to change or update a review, even if you resolved their issue.
Asking Customers for Reviews: The Green Light
Besides the two examples above, there is nothing wrong with asking a customer to update a poor review, granted you already followed all of the steps in resolving his/her issue. But first, ask yourself the following questions:
– Does the customer think you fix their problem? It’s not enough that you think the issue is resolved.
– Did the customer return for a discount or offer, and loved it the second go-round?
If you answered ‘yes’ to both of those questions, it’s time to ask the customer to update their review.
If you’re lucky, the customer liked your business so much the second time, they may update their review without you asking. Still, it’s okay to send them an email reminder if you know they enjoyed their second visit.
How To Ask Customers To Change Their Reviews
Remember don’t be pushy. You should also never offer an incentive for a customer to update a review. Keep the tone of your message casual. Acknowledge the mistake and ask if the customer would be open to updating his or her review.
Below is one template you can use. The information in brackets can be swapped out to fit most circumstances.
Hi [Customer Name],
I’d like to apologize again for our mistake in [failing to schedule your appointment last week]. We strive to satisfy our customers, and we’re actively made changes so this issue won’t happen again.
Most of all, I appreciated that you gave us the chance to make things right!
If you enjoyed your recent experience, would you be willing to share an update of your story on your review?
If not, no problem. We appreciate you anyway.
Thanks for all you do.
This email template is just a start. You can change and format things to fit your brand and the situation with your customers. Remember even if they don’t change the review, you’ve done a lot of work in rebuilding your online reputation. These activities provide the best kind of social proof needed to win more customers.
The Key to Success
There are several predictors as to whether a customer will go back and change a review, but the top three predictors are as follows in order of importance.
- Their initial bad experience was rectified with a very good one (70%)
- The owner or manager reached out to them directly (64%)
- The product or service was replaced for free (32%)
Very few customers see their reviews as something set in stone. Many people update their reviews over time to reflect their evolving experience. You should see this as good news because a negative review doesn’t have to be forever.
Reaching out directly to the customer is key!
With nearly 64% of people being motivated to change their review after positive owner/manager involvement, it cannot be stressed enough how important initial contact is in addressing poor reviews.
Here are the things you need to get in contact with a customer after a bad review.
- You have the customer’s name, email address and number on file.
- If you don’t have the customer’s information or it isn’t included in their review, then in your response to the review include your email or phone number. Ask the customer to get in touch.
- Depending on the platform the review is on, you can send the customer a direct message.
You’re being given a second chance if you get the customer’s ear a second time. It’s then up to your brand to do everything you can to change their opinion.
If you are interested in professional help with reputation management, there are services that offer help so that you can tackle negative reviews and increase the chances that customers will change bad ones. Learn more about Rize Review’s online reputation management software today!