7 Tips to Help You Respond to Bad Reviews

“I will never shop there again! I’ve waited more than 5 weeks for my delivery and the customer service is totally incompetent!”

“I will never shop there again! I’ve waited more than 5 weeks for my delivery and the customer service is totally incompetent!”

Unhappy customer

True or not: If your company receives online reviews like these, it’s not only embarrassing. One or two stars on Yelp, Tripadvisor or Google put customers off in the long term. They are bad for your business’ public image. If these comments pile up, it will even affect your bottom line at some point.

How can I react correctly to a negative review – or should I even have it deleted immediately?

Beware that the Internet is an important, maybe even THE most important acquisition opportunity for you. So good reviews from satisfied customers are a great advertisement for you and your company. Still, a bad review is not the end of the world. You yourself decide through your response how customer-oriented and professional your perception is. Bad customer experiences can even help your company to achieve an authentic external image by signaling a high level of service readiness through your fast and solution-oriented reaction. Everyone makes mistakes – and honestly admitting them is a pleasant surprise for the customer.

Incidentally, having a few bad reviews give a company more credibility than having only positive ones. Because solely positive comments could give the impression that the owner himself wrote or commissioned comments that were praiseworthy.

So refrain from wanting to prematurely delete bad reviews. A really angry customer then finds other channels to vent their frustration out. And he might even share his negative experience through these channels. This then becomes embarrassing for the external reputation of your company. And it could also scare off potential new customers.

The following tips can help you answer:

1) Fast response

Reacting to a 3 week old review seems very unprofessional. To prevent this, you have to instruct employees to check rating portals and social media channels for new ratings. Every. Single. Day. Or, much more efficient and reliable – use reputation management software like Unwrangle for being updated on your online reviews.

2) Take customer criticism seriously

First of all, assume that your customer is not a “bad” person and does not want to harm you. He only describes his personal perception and bad experience. In fact, a customer who is taking time out to write honest feedback is doing you a favor. By keeping this in mind, you can prevent impulsive responses and remain composed.

3) Always stay friendly

Answer factually. And always be friendly. This will show your customers that you care about them and are responsive to their feedback. An unfriendly response would be perceived as abusive and could permanently damage your company’s reputation. A good start would be to say thank you very much for pointing this out. Always remember that your comment is publicly visible to all other potential customers.

4) Short and sweet

Never write long justifications as to why everything went exactly the way it did on that day. Because that would just sound like excuses. Your customers will feel like they are not being taken seriously. And if your answer is too long, most users will not even read it. Instead, you should redirect the dissatisfied buyer in a friendly manner to private communication channels. This way the external effect would be less. Please note that your answer can still be visible to everyone – if the extremely angry customer should post personal mails online.

5) Offer a solution to the problem

The aim should be to fix the problem. Perhaps you cannot follow the assessment yourself or the effort to rectify it is not appropriate. Nevertheless, it is important to approach your customers and sympathize with them. If treated fairly, the annoyed person sitting on the other side could be more accommodating with your company.

6) No mass processing with standard reply

Nothing is more annoying than seeing the same response under each negative rating. You do not want to weaken your image with the copy & paste method. Cookie cutter replies make customers feel like their criticism is not being taken seriously. Giving potential customers the impression that the company doesn’t care about them. It is better, however, to use personalized formulations and respond to each bad evaluation individually.

7) Admit mistakes, apologize for inconvenience

According to a study by economists from the Universities of Bonn and Nottingham, 45% of all disgruntled customers lifted their criticism after a personal apology. If there were errors in the process, you must of course admit them. But nothing more. If you otherwise disagree as a company, you should describe it in an equally friendly manner.

A rating example from a disappointed visitor:

“The food was really bad. How can you call yourself a cook when you can’t even use spices? Everything there just tasted totally bland, never again!! “

Another dissatisfied visitor

So here we have a dissatisfied restaurant guest describing a specific service. It is important that you do not want to give the impression that your cook would prepare food without spices in your restaurant. So one possible reply would be:

“We are really sorry that you were not satisfied with our performance. Thank you very much for the specific points of criticism. We will immediately look into it and improve our offer. We would be happy if you gave our kitchen a second chance. It is important for us to convince you of the quality of our dishes. Our chefs are happy to prepare your order according to your wishes. To do this, give the waitress a brief note about your spice preferences. So that we can take your instructions or allergies into account during preparation. “

Responsible manager

If you run a practice and a patient gives unspecific and destructive feedback to your practice – you respond in a friendly manner and respond to the patient’s needs. Also try to direct the further contact to a private channel. One possible answer would be:

“We are very sorry that you are disappointed in us. We would like to find a solution and improve. So we would be happy if you could tell us what exactly bothered you during your visit. Please use our contact form on the website. Thank you very much in advance. “

A patient practitioner

As you can see, it’s not that difficult to adequately respond to the comments of dissatisfied customers. The most important thing here is to keep your own composure and of course: to keep an appropriately short reaction time for your response.