5 Steps to Deal with Negative Reviews

The Internet has changed the way we interact with products and services. It has opened up doors for consumers to voice their opinions towards the companies they love, and the companies they love to hate. These reviews are public and how you respond can deeply affect the perception of your company.

If you are the target of a negative review, or even if that possibility exists, we suggest taking the following measures and ensure you are prepared for any comments that may come in.

Step 1: Respond in Real Time

Have a response strategy ready that you can adapt to individual situations. Have a policy for how you’ll respond to both positive and negative comments.

For the most part a review cannot be deleted depending on where its posted. Some strategists will say that it’s okay to delete a bad review when possible, but just remember that on the Internet comments can often still be found even after deletion. If a disgruntled customer takes a screenshot of what they posted and shows that you deleted their comment, you may look untrustworthy because you didn’t face a certain issue head-on.

Step 2: Acknowledge

Apologize if necessary and thank them for their feedback. Taking the time to read and respond to their review can show that you care about your customers.

Stay positive. Look at it as an opportunity to show future customers what kind of customer service you provide. Don’t respond out of frustration; instead evaluate the situation. If you are getting real feedback then take the time to formulate a response.

Step 3: Personalize

People hate a faceless organization. Show some personality, who you are and how you like to take care of your customers. You aren’t a bot so try to show them that there is a real human behind the computer who does care about the situation.

Step 4: Get to the bottom of it

Ask if any representative has been in contact with this person; find out the whole story. You wouldn’t want the situation to arise again and you want to go in with all the facts. Even if you can’t solve it, you know you’ve tried. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to show future customers that you identified an issue and made an effort to fix it.

Step 5: Take it offline

Send them a direct message (DM) or offer an email address to continue the conversation off of the public forum. More often than not they won’t follow up, but it shows you were ready and willing to address the issue.

And most importantly, if you do take the conversation offline and promise to do something – follow through. You don’t want to exacerbate the issue.

Don’t let one bad review take away from your positive reviews. The 5–1 rule says that five good comments can cancel out one negative comment, so ask happy customers to leave a review on your behalf. If handled well, reviews—positive or negative—can be very good for business.

For more information on why reviews matter, click here. Google reviews are now integrated into autoTRADER.ca.

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