Negative Reviews and How to Handle Them
May 21, 2021
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
It is psychologically proven that negative feedback has more of an impact on the human mind than positive feedback. In an ever-changing world, understanding the psychology of the consumer is vital for the growth of a business. Statistics prove that 85% of online consumers trust online reviews, and this decides whether they will return to your online shop or not. Feedback plays an essential role in the development of your company.
While positive feedback is pleasing to read and gives you a morale boost, negative feedback can cause double the impact but on the wrong side. Negative reviews are a very delicate and fragile matter of business. The effect it has on you can be adverse, and the way you attend it decides your rise or fall.
An example of the difference in the impact of a positive and negative review would be how multiple positive reviews on a product can raise its worth. But one negative review on a less reviewed product can completely crash the product out of the market.
So how can you handle this crucial “walking on eggshells” moment for your business? How do you come off on a good note with your customers who are sulking over your product? Here are a few efficient ways to handle negative criticism.
How to Respond to Online Negative Reviews
A Harvard Business Review study found that when businesses responded to customer reviews, ratings subsequently increased irrespective of the check being bad or good. Hence, responding is fundamental to handling a negative review. However, the trick lies in how, when, and what you respond with.
Let us dive right into how you can respond to the negative online review
1) Respond as soon as possible
A statistic says that 93% of consumers read online reviews before shopping. The timestamp for the examination is also visible for the critic and the readers. Hence, responding to reviews within 24-48 hours is vital in a business.
The quickness in how you reply to the review directly impacts the customer’s mindset regarding how important they mean to your business. Recurring readers can also see this and have a positive outlook before looking into your business.
Another statistic proves that consumers find businesses that respond to reviews 1.7x more trustworthy than those that don’t. The swiftness in your review is also considered to be impactful
2) Be authentic and polite
They say the man is a social animal, and it is true because consumers need human interaction to be satisfied. You cannot afford to let bots or AI reply to reviews. This just comes off as less considerate of the customer. According to a study by Womply, businesses that respond to just one customer review earn 4% more revenue on average. This is how important responding to a review is.
Another aspect of responding is how polite you are while replying to a review. One must take the motto “The customer is always right” (even when they are not right) to their heart while answering and always offer a solution. Questioning more about the issue and coming to a fix for the issue helps improve your business massively. However, this is to be done with an open mind and to remember that the customer is not an expert in the field of your business!
3) Respond with your future consumers in mind
Your reviews and responses act as a ripple effect and propagate to your future customers. You must keep in mind that your customers will read the reviews and your replies and decide to shop. Therefore, handling the study appropriately and keeping in mind its impact on your future audience is essential.
Why is your future audience influential? The probable customers for your business will read reviews on your page. A study by BrightLocal says 82% of consumers read replies to reviews and decide for further interaction with the company.
Hence, it is essential to satisfy your present audience and your potential audience.
4) Contact the reviewer offline
It is vital to give off a lasting impression that makes your customers believe that you mean what you say. This kind of assurance can go a long way in the world of business and consumers. Contacting the customer in any other modes like email or directly to their number to discuss the issue, will make you seem more proactive and considerate.
Consumers expect positive experiences or changes after leaving a negative review. This kind of offline engagement can improve your customer morale. In 2017, a study conducted by Experience Matters stated that after a positive experience with a brand, 78% of customers are willing to recommend that brand to a friend. Engaging with customers and impress them in the right way is the key to growing your business.
5) Provide incentives if possible
Your last straw must be providing an incentive to cool off your angry reviewer. Sometimes, reviewers take their anger out of the review box, leading to lower ratings on your business. No one needs that! To compensate for this, providing an incentive for the customer. But one must ensure this is not the answer to all bad reviews.
Offering incentives come with a high risk. Sometimes you can lose money on customers by providing incentives to low-value customers. Nothing can seem to shake them off of their experience, and, in that case, unfortunately, you have lost a customer. You must choose your audience and your incentives for them wisely.
How to prevent negative reviews
We have arrived at the final piece of our puzzle. On replying to your audience in the right way, being humble, and providing incentives, you can still face negative reviews. This is human nature. Business 101 teaches you that not every customer can be satisfied. You cannot completely stop the bad reviews from coming. However, you can always take measures to reduce them.
1) Have a presentable product page: Value of product description and images rose from 6.3 to 7.7 percent in 2019
2) Improve customer feedback quality: Customers are more likely to rate when it is a rating system of one to five stars
3) Ensure active customer service is provided: Customers should be able to contact company officials whenever they can
These are a few ways to reduce the infliction of negative reviews for your company. Stay positive, and make sure your customers rate positive too.
Throw away your negativity with Enalito
Negative reviews can be a problem for a company. You always need to stay ahead of the curve and provide the best service for your customers. Enalito can provide top-notch service for your business and bring down all the negativity around your business with immaculate AI-driven technology and outstanding business development features.