Skip to main content

Brands always aim for positive customer reviews – and for good reason. According to available online research, 72% of customers admit to trusting a business more using only positive reviews as their criterion. Similarly, 31% of customers easily gravitate towards and spend on a brand with an excellent score.

On the other hand, as per available figures, unflattering feedback can cost a business about 30 customers. Furthermore, many people – around 86% of them – tend to be hesitant about a business with numerous negative reviews. 

But it should also be pointed out that you, as a business owner, cannot please all your customers. You will inevitably cross paths with unsatisfied customers who would not shy away from publicly sharing their opinions of your services.

Therefore, it is important to be prepared to receive and handle negative reviews and mitigate the damage they bring. You can take several steps, some of them are mentioned below:  

  1. Respond immediately – Fast response to negative reviews is crucial. By addressing customer concerns quickly, you are showing that you prioritize what they say and think about their experiences and that you are genuinely concerned about the cause of their dissatisfaction. It shows that you hear them and are ready to offer redress if needed.  
  • Answer respectfully – Be mindful of how you formulate your response. A strongly worded reply is counterproductive and may result in the issue escalating further. A rude response may also not sit well with your other customers, who might think that you don’t care about their issues. Replying respectfully, even if the reviews are without basis, shows your professionalism as a brand and that their satisfaction is part of your priorities.
  • Shift offline – After responding publicly, engage your customers offline. While doing so, you may ask the customers to take down their reviews, especially with malicious ones. After the issue has been resolved, make the public aware through a short update on the reviews platform.
  • Be ready to acknowledge your slip-ups – If you have fallen short of your customers’ expectations, humbly admit the errors and offer to make amends. Take extra steps to make the disgruntled customers happy.
  • Learn from negative reviews – Negative reviews can serve as a good learning experience. They help bring your attention to processes or aspects of your products or services that you might have overlooked and are now making your customers unhappy. You can also share the reviews with your employees to come up with practical solutions as a team.

At the heart of the matter is to learn how to turn challenges into opportunities. On bad reviews, see them as an opportunity to further improve your processes and offerings. By handling negative customer feedback well – with your customers knowing it – you are also winning back customer trust and confidence.