You always work hard to please your business’ customers. Before you launch any of your product, you always have it rigorously tested because you don’t want to screw up. Because if you do, you’ll wake up one day that your business has already gone viral online because of your unsatisfied customer’s post.
Social media is both pretty amazing and scary at the same time. It’s amazing because you could now easily reach your target market. Scary because it could even be the reason for your business to lose customers.
Though you did your best to keep your customers happy, there will still be one or more customers who will find fault on your business. And instead of contacting you directly to solve the issue, they will immediately post it online and people will see you as the “bully” without trying to know your side.
It’s unfair, but that’s how business is. You cannot please everyone.
If you let those negative online reviews affect you too much, then you won’t last in the business space. However, you should handle negative online reviews seriously or it will really affect your company.
To handle negative online reviews, here’s what you need to do.
Download this checklist and learn how to handle negative online reviews.
Step 1. Make it a habit to monitor customer feedback.
You won’t be finding unsatisfied customers who are talking behind your back if you are not monitoring every customer feedback. Have someone in your team to monitor customer feedback to spot customer complaints, and of course, happy feedback and suggestions.
Step 2. Be prepared and have a cool head.
Your customer support reps should be trained on preparing their mind for reading unpleasant feedback on their customers. Because someone who is new on handling customer complaints will respond impulsively which could actually lead to a bigger problem. You don’t want to be receiving comments such as “Is this how you respond to your customer’s complaints?”
Step 3. Analyse which negative reviews are trolls or not.
Trolls. You’ll frequently encounter them online. These people are just making your business look bad or making people upset for their own amusement. These troll feedback generally come in the form of sarcastic humour.
So, if the negative feedback is obviously a troll, just ignore them. Don’t waste your energy on them. Even people reading your company’s online reviews will be able to recognise trolls. After filtering out the trolls, focus your energy on responding to genuine customer feedback.
Step 4. Read your customer’s complaints and hear them out.
As much as you want to be defensive about your business, read first every negative online review that you have. Give your unhappy customer the opportunity to be heard by you. Let them tell what they want. Let them express their anger on you. Sometimes, some unhappy customers just wanted to be heard and once you recognise their problem, they’ll forgive you.
Step 5. Recognise their problem and apologise.
Deal with the negative online review immediately. At least recognise the problem with no more than 24 hours if the problem can’t be solved right away. This way, the customer will have their mind at ease, that someone from your team had known their issues and the problem will now be solved.
Apologise to your customer even if you think that it isn’t your fault. Everything will come upon to light later as you both try to solve the problem.
When recognising the problem, always do it publicly, so that the onlookers will also know that you are doing something to solve the problem and not ignoring the issue.
Step 6. Solve the problem immediately.
You could respond either publicly or privately when solving your customer’s issues. However, if you want to prevent onlookers from butting into your talk with your unhappy customer, always talk and solve the issue privately. Call them, or give them your email address if they prefer solving the issue via email. Offer a solution that is feasible to both the company and the customer. It may be a refund, a product replacement, a free coupon or treat, etc.
Step 7. Above all, always mind your manners.
No matter how irate the customer is, always mind your manners. Don’t try to look defensive or sarcastic when responding to your customer’s complaints. Always deal with them professionally, or else you’ll be giving your unhappy customer another chance to say something bad about you, particularly your customer support service.
Not all negative online reviews are meant to bring down your business. Some negative reviews out there are meant to helping you out. Maybe, there’s still something you lack and your unhappy customer just wants you to help you improve your products and services. Or it could be that your products and services are really unfit to that particular customer, so don’t take it to heart.
Nevertheless, all negative online reviews should be dealt with accordingly and pacify them as early as you can.