Who has never received a negative feedback from a customer? Do not worry, absolutely no one. Even the best of companies must deal with dissatisfied customers who express their discontent on the web.
Certainly, it is never a pleasant experience. However, it is far from the end of the world! It is even possible even to turn it into a strength! How? By learning to respond to these negative reviews intelligently. You will see that even the angriest customer can become a valuable ambassador for your brand.
Not sure how to go about it. Let us explain:
- First, it is important to show empathy
- Recognize your mistakes
- Be open to discussion and proactive in seeking solutions
Demonstrate empathy and listen to your dissatisfied customers
When you receive a negative review, the initial reaction is often anger. You may be convinced that you do not deserve this negative comment? It is possible, but what matters is that your customer does not share that opinion, and they likely gave good reasons! Take the time to consider things from their point of view. Listen to them and empathize with their situation.
And above all, never respond in anger, take the time to step back
Learn to acknowledge your mistakes!
Have you made a mistake? The service provided did not meet expectations? The product sold was defective? It happens, but you need to acknowledge it. Do not hesitate to reply to a negative review with an apology. Far from working against you, your apologies prove, on one hand, that you are willing to self-reflect and, on the other hand, that the situation descried in this negative review does not represent the norm but rather the result of an isolated and unintentional mistake.
Caution: never publicly question the word of a real customer
Remain open to discussion and be proactive in finding a solution.
Whatever the situation, show that you are ready to engage in a discussion and offer solutions to your dissatisfied customer. When responding to a negative review, remember that the conversation is public, and it is essential that your current and future customers do not feel like you are only trying to defend your business. You must demonstrate that you are genuinely concerned about customer satisfaction and are seeking to resolve the issue. Do not hesitate to propose a private discussion or a phone call with the author of the negative review.
Caution: never promise discounts or refunds publicly, as others may try to take advantage of it.
Here are some examples of intelligent responses:
“Hello, Mrs. Blanc,
We are sincerely sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction. Of course, we would like to discuss what happened with you. Would you be willing for us to contact you by phone? I am confident we can find a solution.”
“Hello, Mr. Du,
You mentioned that your experience with us was disastrous, and we are genuinely sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, we cannot locate your name in our systems. Could you please contact us at 514-461-3411? We would like to discuss tis situation with you. I am confident we can reach a mutually agreeable situation.”
“Hello, Mrs. Turcotte,
We apologize for the delay you experienced during your last visit. Weather conditions prevented some of our employees from reaching our offices. So, we had to operate with reduced staff, causing the significant delay you experienced. Rest assured that this does not reflect out usual standards! Please feel free to contact our customer service to discuss it further.”
One last piece of advice: do not leave negative comment without a reply. It is an admission of guilt, but more importantly, it is a proof to your future customers that do not care about customer satisfaction. The ball is in your court now!