Customers may have a different experience than what you’ve tried to offer them and post a review online. A lot of customers say online reviews influence their buying decisions. Many people claim to avoid companies rated below 3.3 stars─ note that the review can either be positive, negative or neutral.
A bad review can happen, but it doesn’t matter the quality of your service or product. Ignoring a negative review can make things worse.
So, how to respond to bad Google reviews?
Responding to negative reviews is a vital piece in not only encouraging other consumers to engage with your business but can also help build a positive online presence. Below are 7 tips about how to respond to negative Google reviews.
Acknowledge the Issue and Apologize
Acknowledging an issue is often considered the first step to finding a solution. While not all those who post a bad review have negative customer experience, as a business brand, it’s not your place to shift blame.
Acknowledge the mistake and apologize as necessary to show the customer you understand their frustration. After accepting the situation, include an apology for your failure to meet their expectations.
Apologize for the customer’s negative experience and thank them for bringing the issue to your attention. This ultimately shows prospects you value open, honest and transparent feedback. Your audience will see your empathetic response and this can help you win more clients.
Respond to the Review Publicly
Your initial response to a negative review should occur right on Google. Responding to bad reviews online can be challenging. Online conversations can easily be misperceived so be sure your message is clear. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid speaking up for your brand in respectful ways.
According to studies, responding to negative reviews can make your business appear more attractive and inspire more positive reviews. Responding publicly to negative reviews will show both the customer and other readers that you’re attentive, prompt and caring.
Increase Priority of Issue
Following your public apology and expression of willingness to resolve a problem, you should request the customer to take the conversation off the platform. The need to take the conversation through further investigation is particularly crucial if the customer is very upset.
Offer to contact your customer offline via email or phone for more direct engagement. To take the conversation offline, you could tell the client something like “We regret that your experience with our company didn’t quite meet your expectations. We’d love to investigate your concerns further”. Then offer them a contact or get their contact and have someone reach out immediately.
Doing this step shows the customer that you are committed to their issue and they are a priority.
Be Polite and Professional
Whether a review is positive or negative, your response to the person who posts it should be polite and professional. Always maintain a helpful attitude and composure while calming the customer. Sometimes, rude clients even apologize for acting out.
A kind and thoughtful response can de-escalate an angry customer. A judgmental response, on the other hand, can do the opposite. Knowing what to and how to respond to bad Google reviews can have a significant impact on the reputation of your business among clients.
By being polite continuously and offering to help, some readers of the conversation will notice that your business always does it’s best to resolve a bad situation.
Offer a Solution
When you’re replying to a comment or review, let the client know how you’ll solve the issue. Avoid generic responses that do not address or resolve the problem at hand. Be very specific about the clients’ experience and communicate with them about any improvements or changes you’ve made because of their review.
If it’s the first time you’ve heard the problem, ask the customer to email you the details. However, if you’re already aware of what happened, explain what led to your actions and clarify the steps you’ve taken to address the issue. Just in case you aren’t sure how to respond to a bad review, take responsibility and promise to solve the problem in the future.
Seek the Help of a Google Reviews Manager
As mentioned, responding to negative reviews is central to creating a positive relationship with your customers and prospects. However, building a thriving online presence that attracts leads and generates profits takes time, requires resources and special skills.
Knowing how to manage Google reviews is equal parts of art and a science. Google review managers know how to handle reviews and that can help reduce their damage to your business.
These professionals can help your brand by providing you with insights regarding online conversations and make customer interaction better. They can also bring forth more positive reviews for your business.
Go an Extra Mile
Take an extra step to show the client that you’re determined to make things right and earn their trust. Following up is always a good idea as it helps you establish whether or not the customer is satisfied.
Sometimes, following up on a client that posted a negative review can lead to them doing business with you. They may also publish good customer reviews online. If there’s some way you can make things right, such as compensating the customer, make sure that it happens.
Giving a customer a 30% discount on their next shopping, for example, is a thoughtful way to incentivize a dissatisfied client. Also, don’t forget to provide contact details like your phone number that the customer can use to get to you personally. After solving a customer’s issue, you should consider asking them to update their Google review.
Don’t forget to thank them—whether they update it or not.
Learn How to Respond to Bad Google Reviews
Negative reviews can hurt your business yet addressing them can be difficult. While it’s natural to want to retaliate to a negative review, you don’t want emotions to influence your response to such comments.
This guide provides practical tips about how to respond to bad Google reviews that will show your customers that you care and reinforce a positive perception in the public eye. For more tips and advice, check out more of our blog.
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