Handling Negative Reviews and Complaints

The online presence of a company is more important now than ever

While we would like for everyone to love our company brand and services no questions asked, the reality can be a little different. People are much more willing to be honest with reviews online, and are therefore more likely to complain if they had a negative experience. These complaints can end up on search engine results or social review pages of your company.

This  concerning for potential customers who see them. The complaints don’t have to make sense either! You could have provided excellent service to a customer, and they still might find a reason to complain. Since the online world is unpredictable when it comes to consumer behavior, here are a few helpful tips to successfully navigate and respond to negative reviews and complaints.

Effects of Negative Reviews

Negative reviews on a search engine or social page can impact sales and revenue more than business owners realize. Trustpulse tells us that only 13% of consumers will consider a business with 1 or 2 stars, more than four negative reviews may decrease sales by 70%, and small businesses with 1.5-2 star ratings generate 33% less revenue than average-rated ones.

That is an enormous influence on a business’s success! Failure to address these reviews can be catastrophic to your company, so it’s best to respond quickly and promptly.

Acknowledge and Respond Promptly

When someone leaves a negative review, it’s important to respond quickly. Don’t be defensive in your response as this will likely reflect poorly on the company.. When you respond, but sure to address their problem directly and apologize where necessary. Also, thank the reviewer for bringing the issue to your attention.

Whether you agree with their criticisms or not, there is truth in the customer’s experience and it’s important to let them feel heard. Thanking them for their honesty helps them feel that their problem has been acknowledged. It also puts you on a path of reconciliation with the customer.

Move the Conversation Offline

Once you have addressed the comment or review, look to move the conversation offline. Offer for them to message your business via direct message or have them contact you at a business phone number. This move will allow you to address the customer privately, giving him the feeling of personal importance. It also lets you keep those interactions out of the sight of others in case anything goes awry along the way.

Provide A Reasonable Solution and Reinforce the Positive

Sometimes, a customer has a legitimate complaint that they bring forward. Other times, their complaints are things out of your control. If the customer has a complaint that can be reasonably resolved or addressed right away, provide that solution to move forward.

If they are asking for something outside of what you are willing to do, then provide an alternate solution.   In addition to that, reinforce the positive things your company has done already.

Both of these options should help them feel heard and validated. Once they have received the help, reach out to see if they would be willing to update their review with their new experience.

More times than not, your customers will love the fact that you were willing to provide a solution to their problem and will agree to update their review. Not everyone will, though, and that’s alright! You will still hold a better view in their mind had you not done anything about the review at all.

Having provided marketing solutions to several industries, we know the importance of public perception in an online world. Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us if you have any questions or need help with getting your online presence going. We at Big Marlin Group love what we do, and we do it with a passion.

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