The Right Approach To Negative Online Reviews

Everyone gets bad reviews. This is something that every online business and eCommerce seller needs to understand early on in their internet careers. No matter how fantastic your product is, you great your customer service is, and how hard you work to make everyone happy, there will still be the occasional bad review. While every online business faces this issue, it also creates a complicated problem. What do you do about negative reviews? Reviews are supposed to guide leads to your products and services and entice them into becoming customers based on the positive experiences of others. Negative reviews, on the other hand, are likely to scare leads away. As a business, it's only natural for you to want to get rid of anything that might bother your customers or reduce sales, but wait. Those negative reviews are more valuable than you realize and with the right attitude, you can turn them into pure gold.

Negative Reviews Create Trust

The worst thing you can do for your business or products is to cleanse all negative reviews from your page or history. This is a slippery and morally questionable slope that your customers have seen before. "You can't please 'em all" is the name of the game and everyone knows it. This means that companies with nothing but four and five star reviews are suspect while companies with a few one and two stare reviews are actually much more trustworthy and likely to have real quality products and customer service.

The fact of the matter is that negative reviews can make you look good. What if the only one-star on your page is someone making a petty complaint about scuffed packaging? This means that the only thing the complainers can complain about is something that doesn't matter. Your product appears reliable because otherwise, the negative reviews would have substance.

Negative Reviews are a Customer Service Opportunity

You want your negative reviews, at least a few of them, to be seen out in the open, but that's not all you want to be seen. Not only to un-deleted negative reviews provide authenticity, they are also each a unique opportunity to show off your superb customer service. No matter what the customer's complaint is, respond to their review with a sincere apology that they had a bad time, that their product wasn't as expected, or that they got something they didn't need. They do your best to make it right in the eyes of the customer.

If they got a defective product or the wrong item in a variety, offer to replace it at no cost, possibly with a little something extra for their trouble. If the packaging was wrecked, promise to have a word with your shipping department and offer them free shipping on their next order. Do your best to completely reverse the damage done and add a little reward to make the customer feel better and hopefully bring them back into the fold. When others see your prompt and courteous customer service approach, they'll know that if something does go wrong with their order, you will be there to take care of the problem quickly.

Negative Customer Reviews Can Be a Gift

There are several reasons why you might get a negative customer review. Perhaps the customer misunderstood what they wanted, was having a really bad day and wanted to say something negative, or they might just be a very negative person. In these situations, you do your best to make the customer feel better and move on.

However, if a negative review comes with a legitimate complaint about the product, shipping, platform, or some aspect of your business practices, then this is actually a gift. For every one person who speaks up about something that bothers them, 26 people are mad but silent. This means that every legitimate negative review draws your attention to a very real problem that needs solving. Now that you know how your customers feel about it, you can address the issue. In fact, if you publicise the fix and thank the negative reviewer publically, you can build a positive feedback relationship with your online community as a whole.

Negative reviews can be upsetting, disappointing, and even angering but every single one is an opportunity to shine and improve your service. With the right attitude about negative reviews, you can turn unhappy customers into loyal ones, win more lead conversions, and identify areas that need improvement all while building a strong relationship with your online community.

Bryan Caplan