How to respond to negative reviews online

Negative reviews. Love them or hate them, if you're selling a product or a service on the Internet, you're eventually going to face negative reviews. It doesn't matter how perfect you think your product or service may be, there will always be someone who will simply not be satisfied. Now, how you deal with this negativity will be the key to whether or not your customer will ever speak to you again or tell all of his/her friends about how terrible of a service you provided. While your specific situation may depend on multiple different factors, here are some general tips to keep in mind when dealing with negative reviews.

Tip 1: Don’t ignore the customer - The biggest mistake I see with companies attempting to deal with negative reviews is that they try to minimise the importance of the customer’s situation by asking the customer to consult them privately, using their online support or whatever. This behaviour is awful because it shows to other potential customers that they do not matter on an individual basis and that they are a part of the many other complaints the company receives. Of course, if you are an individual selling services and not a company, your best bet is to try to acknowledge the situation and explain how you tried extremely hard to give the customer a satisfactory experience.

Tip 2: Don’t take it personally - A big mistake with individuals trying to deal with negative reviews is that they take the customer’s insults or arguments personally. Taking insults personally already sets you up to act negatively in response to the customer. Even if you did your absolute best, and the customer is clearly in the wrong, you must treat the customer as if they are always correct. Even if you do operate individually, use pronouns like “we” and “our” to refer to your service, as it relieves some of the blame you received to someone imaginary. Never try to counter a customer’s arguments, as it will be interpreted as hostility, which actually transitions to my next tip.

Tip 3: Stay positive, but don’t be disingenuous - The last thing an angry customer or client wants is to be treated like a robot, so don’t act like one! Obvious, you’ll want to stay positive when addressing negativity, but don’t play it to a degree that you end up ignoring the customer’s complaint. The customer wants to know that they are speaking to a person, so be sure to directly address the complaint. Don’t use slippery slope tactics to relate the customer’s issue to something completely irrelevant.

I hope these tips will help you with your future endeavours in online business. I tried to keep these tips as general as possible to appeal to any kind of service or product you may offer, but I’m sure you’ll find these tips helpful regardless! If you have any further questions or would like help with your business, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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Chloe ChristineComment