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Strategies for Managing Negative Consumer Reviews

Strategies for Managing Negative Consumer Reviews

In an earlier blog we highlighted the importance of customer reviews and how you get them.  Now, you are receiving customer feedback and you may be coping with your first negative evaluation.  What do you do?  Do not panic, the strategies below will help turn your negative review into a positive by engaging your customer in a constructive manner and demonstrating that your business cares.

Establish a Plan

Develop a standard operating procedure for handling negative customer reviews.  By creating a plan it will reduce the opportunity for emotional responses.  Although you may not be able to give the customer everything they want, take proactive measures to preserve the relationship.  In 2014, even Wal-Mart introduced a new policy which began reviewing all social media mentions and engaging directly with critics, according to

Respond Immediately

You should timely acknowledge the customer by articulating a positive response to the negative review publicly.  A public reply creates an opportunity for the customer to feel heard and is a great way for you to constructively tell your story while acknowledging the customer’s grievance.  Even if you are unable to reach a resolution, a prompt and fair response shows the customer, and potential consumers, your company’s concern for them.  The critic may also update or delete their negative response, having a positive impact on your rating.

Respond Privately to the Customer

In addition to your public response on the review site, it is important that you reach out to the consumer in a private communication.  In your confidential message you may explore the issue in greater detail.  By engaging in a constructive manner and showing the customer that you are concerned, you will instantly turn the negative review into a positive experience.

Understand Review Content Policies

Take time to familiarize yourself with the review content policies of Google, Bing, Yelp and other similar review sites.  Request that reviews which do not adhere to policy be removed.

Encourage More Reviews from Customers

Customers have written positive evaluations about your company on other review sites.  Contact them and ask that they submit a review on the site where the negative review was given.  Additional positive remarks combat negative comments and right your rating.

Create and Update Your Professional Business Profile on Review Sites

Keep your profile relevant and up to date with photos and videos.  Draw attention to your company’s positive attributes and strengths.  If your business has an active presence on review sites, those reviewing may be less emotional in their negative reply.

In accordance with an article in Business News Daily, “Answering negative reviews builds [consumer] confidence in your business and your brand.”  Dealing with negative online feedback may be unpleasant and frustrating; nevertheless, it is much easier if you have a plan in place.  By implementing a well thought out procedure you will have the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive by humanizing your company and demonstrating a personal commitment to customer service and satisfaction.

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