Sooner or later you will come across a negative review and believe it or not, that’s totally okay. No business is perfect, and reviews — positive or negative — can help you identify pain points that need improvement. Did you know that visitors are almost twice as likely to make a purchase when surrounded by negative experiences? At least, if you do it right.
As a retailer, you probably have mixed feelings about reviews you receive. Such a review can influence other customers and may even decide not to purchase from you. Webshop reviews are essential, but you simply cannot give everyone a 5-star treatment and that is not at all what your customer expects. In fact, error-free companies are less trusted than companies that respond and try to fix the problem.
When you get bad reviews, it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, the customer is always right. It’s important to remind yourself of this so you don’t lose energy trying to be right when you respond to negative reviews. You should try to channel that energy and try to formulate a well-thought-out and customer-friendly answer to the bad review. If you do it right, you not only restore the relationship with this customer, you also remove any doubts in other customers.
Ignoring a negative experience is just not nice. No matter how silly a bad review may be, never delete it. You will also gain much more confidence from potential customers when they see that you respond professionally and constructively to even the most nonsensical reviews. Unlike when you don’t respond, suddenly you’re the one being rude.
There are many dangers in adjusting or removing reviews. In the first place, there is a considerable chance that you will immediately lose your credibility with this. And what if you’re dealing with a very fanatical customer who doesn’t feel heard (and maybe even cheated) and who also starts using other platforms and channels to express his displeasure with you? Then you are further from home and you lose all control.
Does the review hurt? Good on you – that means that you are really involved with your store and/or brand and that the opinions and experiences of your customers matter. On the other hand, this also means that there is a good chance that your reaction will now also become emotional, which we must avoid. You should never forget that your response to the bad review is not directed at the person, he or she may not even read your response at all. But other customers do…
Start by apologizing, even if you couldn’t really do anything about it. It is of course always possible that there is a delay with your sender or that the quality of one of your suppliers leaves something to be desired. Not your fault, but that doesn’t make your customer any less dissatisfied. You should try to convert the bad feeling that your customer has into a positive feeling and that can only be done with a positive attitude and by being emphatic.
Today’s digital landscape offers many possibilities in terms of automation. When it comes to responding to reviews, however, automation is an absolute no-go . We’re not talking about a process like a digital receipt that is automatically sent after a purchase, we’re talking about an experience and feeling that is left behind with the customer. Address the customer by the first name and show in your response that you have actually read the review. When you provide a personal answer, you will see that the customer feels valued.
The effect will be positive for other potential customers if they see that if something goes wrong, you as a retailer also deal with it in a constructive way. Remember, it is ultimately a conversation between you and your customer. Not everyone needs to know or read all the details. Even if you want to explain yourself in public, keep your response to a bad review short and to the point and if necessary continue the conversation via private messages, e-mail or telephone.
Some negative reviews misinterpreted a situation or were written by an angry customer. However, if you see several negative reviews with similar complaints, this can help you improve things. Often bad reviews about a certain product? Constantly criticizing customer service or shipping delayed? Often negative reviews reveal certain aspects that you may not have been aware of right away and these are all concrete signals to improve your business.
Responding to negative reviews summarized in three steps:
Also read our article with tips to collect more reviews !