Negative reviews are a part of doing business, but they don’t have to ruin your reputation.
In this blog, we guide you on how to respond to negative reviews, providing business reputation management tips by looking at:
- Why Online Review Management Is So Important
- Types of Negative Reviews
- Negative Review Response Examples and How To Respond
- Handling Fake Reviews: Brand Reputation Management Tips
The Importance of Online Review Management
Online review management is the process of generating, monitoring, responding to, and analyzing online reviews of a business. Businesses need to manage their online reviews because they can significantly impact a company’s reputation and bottom line.
To invest in online review management is to:
Improve online reputation. Positive reviews can help businesses attract new customers and build trust with existing ones. Bad reviews, however, can damage a company’s reputation and make it harder to attract new business.
Increase website traffic. People often search for businesses online before making a purchase. A company with positive reviews will be more likely to appear in search results, leading to more website traffic and sales.
Promote more sales. When you improve online reputation, sales are likely to skyrocket. Studies have shown that businesses with good reviews generate more sales than those with negative reviews.
Enhance customer service quality. Online reviews can provide valuable feedback businesses can use to improve their products or services. They can also help companies identify areas where they need to improve their customer service.
As such, businesses should learn how to respond to bad reviews to protect and promote their reputation.
Types of Negative Reviews and Examples
But before we go into tips on how to respond to negative reviews or provide negative review response examples, here are a few negative review examples that may or may not be familiar to you.
#1 Hidden Fees
I was looking to sign up for a new cell phone plan but was shocked by the hidden fees. The advertised price was $50/mo, but the total came to $70/mo after fees. Some fees included activation, convenience, network access, and regulatory recovery fees. I ended up going with a different plan with no hidden fees.
Hidden fees can be a significant source of financial stress for consumers, so it’s vital to make them aware before asking them to sign up for any of your services or products. You can include a breakdown of fees in the contract’s fine print, but it’s always a good idea to tell them upfront.
#2 Bad Customer Service
I recently had a very poor experience with the customer service at [Company Name]. I ordered a product from their website, and it arrived damaged. I called customer service to request a replacement, and the representative I spoke to was very rude and unhelpful. They told me that I would have to pay for return shipping and would take up to six weeks to receive a replacement. I will not do business with this company again.
Customer service and business reputation management are closely linked. When customers have a positive customer service experience, they are more likely to have a positive impression of the company overall. They are also more likely to do business with you again and even recommend you to their friends and family.
#3 Late Delivery
I ordered a new dress from [Company Name] for an upcoming wedding. I was told the dress would be delivered within two weeks. However, it has been over three weeks, and I still have not received my dress. I have called customer service multiple times, and each time, I am told that the dress is “in transit” and that I will receive it “soon.” I am very disappointed and not sure if I can wear the dress to the wedding.
Due to various reasons, late deliveries can happen. In such cases, it is crucial to let the customer know immediately. You should be apologetic and explain the delay, informing them of a new estimated delivery date. And while late deliveries are inevitable, you shouldn’t normalize them in your company.
#4 False Advertisement
I saw an ad for a new skin whitening product on [website name]. The ad claimed that the product would lighten my 3x lighter in a week. I was skeptical, but I decided to give it a try. I ordered the product and started using it as directed. But, my skin did not lighten, not even a bit. Instead, I experienced severe drying and breakouts. I contacted the company, and they told me the product was not guaranteed to work for everyone. I was misled by a marketing gimmick and would not recommend this product to anyone.
Apart from disappointing customers, there are many reasons why businesses should refrain from engaging in false advertising. It is illegal and will damage your reputation. False advertisements can lead to frequent consumer complaints, government fines, or, worse, criminal charges. If you are considering engaging in false advertising, it is crucial to weigh the risks and benefits carefully. The stakes are high, and the benefits are often outweighed by the costs.
Now that we’ve gone over a few examples of bad reviews let’s guide you on how to respond to bad reviews in the next section.
How To Respond to Negative Reviews
No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to please everyone. However, by providing negative review responses in a professional and respectful manner, you can show potential customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing a positive experience.
Along with examples of negative review responses, here’s how to respond to bad reviews:
- Acknowledge the review. The first step is to acknowledge the review and thank the reviewer for taking the time to share their experience.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of our product. We appreciate your feedback.
- Apologize if necessary. If the reviewer is unhappy with your product or service, apologize, empathizing with them.
We’re sorry to hear you were unhappy with your experience with our product. We understand that it can be frustrating when things don’t go according to plan, and we want to ensure you’re satisfied with your purchase.
- Explain the situation. If there is a legitimate reason for the reviewer’s dissatisfaction, explain the situation to them.
We understand that you were disappointed with the shipping time of your order. We’re experiencing some delays due to the high volume of orders we’ve received. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
- Offer a solution. If you can offer a solution to the reviewer’s problem, do so. This could be anything from a refund to a free replacement product.
We would like to offer you a full refund or a free replacement product. Please contact us at [email address] or [phone number] to discuss your options.
- Be professional and respectful. Even if you may be dealing with a fake negative review, your response must be professional and respectful.
We’re sorry to see that you’ve left a negative review of our product. We’ve investigated the issue and found that your account was created recently and had no other activity. We believe that this review may be fake. We take the integrity of our reviews seriously and will be taking action to remove this review.
- Proofread your response. Before you hit send or post, proofread your response for any errors in grammar or spelling.
We’re sorry to hear that you were unhappy with our product. We’ve investigated the issue and found a problem with the manufacturing process. We’re working to fix the issue and will ship replacement products to all affected customers. Thank you for your feedback.
Above are only some negative review response examples. So remember, there is no need to write a lengthy response to every negative review. A short, concise answer may be sufficient in some cases.
Brand Reputation Management Tips on Handling Fake Reviews
It is important to remember that not all negative reviews are fake or false allegations.
However, if you suspect that a review is fake, you should take steps to address it.
Here are some brand reputation management tips to combat fake reviews:
- Point out any inconsistencies in the reviewer’s story. For example, if the reviewer claims to have used your product for years, but their account was created recently, this is a red flag.
- Provide evidence that the review is fake. This could include screenshots of the reviewer’s account or links to other reviews that they have written.
- Report the review to the review site. Most review sites have a process for reporting fake reviews.
- Take legal action if necessary. If you believe the fake review has caused substantial harm, you can take legal action against the reviewer.
Personalized Review Response Specialists
How you frame your negative review responses and feedback is the line between losing a repeat customer and taking the opportunity to win them back.
For this reason, it’s absolutely necessary to tailor your response to each negative review and give it the attention it deserves. But busy business owners may find this hard to do. If you need help, talk to our team, and we can help.
Claim your free website review widget here.