There are those business owners who take every single bad review personally, and there are the ones who don’t worry about bad reviews at all. It doesn’t really matter on which side you fall, because, either way, you have to deal with negative reviews from time to time. More and more studies have come to the same conclusion: More than 66% of consumers read reviews about products before they make a purchase. And it is nearly inevitable that they will encounter at least one negative review. But should you worry about them?
Before we dive deep into the psychology of it, ask yourself if you believe that there are any products that are perfect for everyone. See? Negative reviews mean that the service, brand or product is real. So, having no negative reviews actually isn’t good. Consumers will think that none of your reviews are legit.
How should you deal with negative reviews?
Although a simple negative review can break your business, you can come out as a winner if you deal with them the right way. Just follow these steps.
- Find out whether or not it is an isolated incident. If you receive only one negative review, reach out to your customer and apologize for the bad experience. Try to convince that consumer to talk through the whole incident via e-mail or phone, leaving out publicity. Once you’re talking to them, listen to their concerns and address how you are going to improve your service or product.
- If it turns out to be a reoccurring incident, try to look for a pattern. Is it one of your products that gets bad reviews? Is it a specific area where customers are having negative experiences? Or is it a specific time of the day, week, month or year when you get those negative reviews? Once you discover the pattern, you can address that problem accordingly.
- Let your customers know that their reviews matter. You should encourage your consumers, through all your channels, that they should leave honest reviews. Consider offering them incentives to do so.
- Don’t get distracted. Even if you get one or two negative reviews, focus on fixing your problems instead of just worrying, so you will start collecting positive reviews.
Next steps after receiving a negative review
Of course, there are some situations when you should be concerned about negative reviews. If your consumer talks about racial, sexual or personal harassment, you should immediately address that issue. Talk to them, and try to show as much empathy as you can.
If the review is personal, you can either respond to the complaint or flag it to request its removal. You can come out as a winner if you stay polite and try to stick to the facts. But avoid insulting the reviewer or demanding that they delete the review themselves. There are some instances when the response to a sexist or degrading review worked out to be a boost to businesses.