How to Handle Negative Reviews on your eCommerce Store
Wednesday, February 3, 2016Kelly Nelson
We know that the importance of reviews is not a new concept to you. We’ve said it time and time again, and it’s simple; customers trust other customers! Reviews are crucial to any solid eCommerce business, and that is not going to change. A review is as good as a personal recommendation.
With that being said, what happens when a customer gives you a negative review or comment? What happens if they absolutely rip you to shreds all for other customers and potential customers to see?
We present to you, the four pillars of handling negative reviews.
Pillar One: Time
This one is simple, don’t make them wait for your answer. In today’s online world, it’s so important to remember that both potential and repeat customers want instant responses. Remember that this is your reputation on the line, you don’t have time to sit around and hope for the best. No more than 24 hours should pass before they get a response. Even if you don’t have a solution right away, give them peace of mind that you are looking into it.
Pillar Two: Openness
This one has two parts really:
The first part refers to making your apology and resolution public if you can. Other customers like to see that you handle problems promptly and efficiently. This lends credibility to what you do and how you operate. Having said that, there may be instances when your customers get a little too aggressive with their comments. If that is the case, or the conversation involves private information, its best to take the conversation offline or into direct messages.
The second part of this is all about ownership of the issue. You want to be open about the problem and be honest if you or your team has make a mistake. This means apologizing and admitting there was a mix up. This may not always be the case, but if it is, own it. Humanizing yourself is important for your brand because consumers value real relationships.
Pillar Three: Empathy
This one should be obvious, but can sometimes be forgotten. It’s easy to become irritated by petty complaints and reviews, but it’s important to put yourself in their shoes so you can fully grasp where they are coming from. They have left a negative review for a reason, it’s your job to learn why. You also have more motivation to fix it if you have been or can imagine where they are coming from.
Pillar Four: Professionalism
Negative reviews are never fun, in fact, they can be extremely damaging to your business if not handled properly. It’s important that you don’t make things worse by arguing, making excuses or bating them. Even if it isn’t the case, remember that the customer is always right and it’s your job to make them happy again. Nothing about this is personal, so remain composed and maintain that level of professionalism.
Handling reviews is a game of damage control, and while you have addressed the negative, you can’t really remove them from your site or hide them in any way without looking bad. This can affect your overall rating in some instances. The best way to combat negative reviews is to bury them with genuinely good ones! Here are a few ways you can look into doing this:
- Learn from your mistakes: Take what you have learned from each of the negative reviews you address. Apply those lessons where necessary.
- Engage your customers: Talk to them, get social and follow any public conversation about your company. This is a good way to be proactive and stop a problem before it happens.
- Asking never hurt anyone: If you know of a customer that has had a good experience, and you’re confident that they would sing your praise, ask them for a review! The worst thing they can say is no.
Throughout all of this, it’s important to remember that a complaint is a gift! Don’t let these negative reviews get you down, make lemons into lemonade and make them work for you!