Your Ultimate Guide to Responding to Negative Reviews the Right Way

responding to negative reviews

Did you know 87% of customers only support a business if they have high ratings?

As you can tell, customer reviews are vital for your business. Today, your customers can find reviews by searching for your business, visiting review sites, and even on social media.

But not all customers are nice and they will easily leave a bad review.

Whether you’re at fault or their standards are high, negative reviews can hurt your score on several review sites and search engines. That’s why it’s essential that you face the dragon and respond to bad customer reviews.

What method should you take when responding to negative reviews? Continue reading and know how to handle the unsatisfied customers.

Why Respond to Negative Reviews?

When you see a bad review, it’s easy to throw the covers over your head and pretend it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, this is the worst measure you can take.

Negative reviews don’t only hurt your chance of gaining new customers and achieving customer retainment.

Negative reviews can impact your SEO. While negative reviews can benefit your SEO performance, they can be a drawback if your competitors receive phenomenal reviews.

There’s a way to prevent this – responding to negative reviews.

When you respond to your negative reviews, you’re further engaging with your customer and are addressing the problem. If the problem is one you can easily fix, such as a rude employee, you can take action.

Responding to the review doesn’t only guarantee you’ll solve the problem, but you are making a direct promise to the customer.

This also helps new customers. They may see you received a bad review, but reading your response will gain more trust.

Google also picks up on this conversation. They see your reviews, your response, and will amp up your search engine ratings.

Responding to Negative Reviews: The Tried and True Method

Now that you know the importance of responding to negative reviews, it’s time to take action. If you’re stumped on what to say, here are a few good pieces of advice.

Be Empathetic

You know what it’s like to have a bad experience as a customer. You feel helpless and upset. That’s why it’s vital you show empathy and acknowledge their emotions.

Always apologize. Never make it about you or your business – make your response about the customer.

For example, saying “I’m sorry you had a bad experience” is better than saying “I’m sorry but we were short-staffed and this never happens.”

Always Re-Market Your Brand – With Sympathy

Now the overall reason why you’re responding. This is a great opportunity to promote your brand and make things right. Just because your first response shows sympathy doesn’t mean this response shouldn’t.

Start by using the previous advice: make it about the customer, but tie in your brand, a product, a service, a promotion, or something similar.

If you own a restaurant, a good example is “I’m terribly sorry to hear about your bad experience. Next time you come to visit, lunch is on us!”

Include Your Contact Information

The key to retaining unsatisfied customers is moving the conversation off of the review boards. The easiest way to do this is by offering your contact information.

Use one of the conversation templates we suggested and include your email address or phone number.

Keep Your Response Simple

When responding to bad customer reviews, don’t go into too much detail. As mentioned previously, make it about the customer and rope them back into your business.

This should successfully be done in no more than two or three sentences.

Don’t Let Negative Reviews Get You Down!

Negative reviews can impact your business as a whole, but responding to these reviews will help retain customers and develop trust.

Is your online reputation lacking in other ways? Check out our online reputation training.