Why do we say negative reviews are useful and how to make use of bad reviews?
“Bad service. Low-quality product. I would never recommend this.”
Every one of us may have experienced this blow of negative reviews. Imagine a stranger who walks against us in the street shouting, “you are a bad person!” to our face! We may get hurt, cry, feel down, or be annoyed.We may end up shouting back at the stranger the first insulting words from the top of our head or we may just walk away, carrying the pang.
Well, we don’t have to imagine a customer (and sometimes, many of them) telling the public that our service/product is bad. That happens. Along with good reviews praising us, We’ll receive the negative ones too.
As we said in the first case, we may take this personally and may get hurt. We may delete the review altogether instead of responding to it. What’s worse, we may react the same way.
But, are bad reviews that bad? Is there any way we can make use of these reviews to improve the business? In fact, there is. Negative reviews are many times better than positive ones if we have the heart to accept criticism and a will to learn from mistakes.
Still, You may have trouble dealing with the question, how to respond to bad reviews on Google and/or social media. Customer review is the most important factor in your online ranking. You must take care while responding to negative reviews. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how.
Bad reviews don’t define your business.
I admit it’s not very easy for us to take criticism lightly. However, we’ll have to remember however hard we try, we can’t be perfect. We’ll have flaws and that’s okay. The most important thing is, these bad reviews don’t define your business, just like your past flaws don’t define who you’re today.
To make them our ‘past’ mistakes, of course, we’ll have to get past them. Know that admitting our mistakes is the first step to improvement. It’s all about learning from our mistakes and becoming better.
Ultimately, as you overcome your weaknesses, you’ll avoid bad reviews in the future.
Negative reviews aren’t that negative.
Imagine that we pay attention to good reviews alone. Eventually, we will assume that we are the perfect business without flaws. We may never notice our shortcomings before they will seriously damage our business.
Negative reviews just make us aware of our mistakes or shortcomings. They tell us where we’ve gone wrong and what we’ve to care more about.
It’s our turn then to realize these issues and take positive steps to solve them. Take each of those reviews as an insight into your weak spots. The next thing to do is to think about ways to fix that fault. Call your whole team and work together to right a wrong.
Why deleting a bad review is not a great idea.
Let’s face the truth. It’s not easy to remove a bad review. In some cases, it’s impossible to do so. Talking about Google, the legitimacy of the business matters most. Google values honest feedback from customers. So, we can’t just remove a review if we’re not happy with it. Besides, what’s the point of review sites if we choose to show only our good side?
If your review sites are all loaded with reviews appreciating you and not even pointing out a single problem, the customers may get suspicious. It may seem artificial and fake, thus inverting the effect of good reviews. Yes, the ‘too good to be true’ logic always pops up in our mind.
Getting rid of bad reviews.
However positive bad reviews can turn out to be, our ultimate aim is to avoid them. We must set a goal to get rid of bad reviews altogether, though it’s not possible. Getting rid of them does not mean you’ve to delete or remove them. We have to deal with them to mitigate the damage they’ve done.
By facing the issue and taking positive actions to change them, we have to make sure we don’t receive the same kind of bad review again. Of course, when we fix one problem, another will come up. Take this as a journey to perfection. We may not be able to stop bad reviews completely, but we become better on the way.
The best way to project your positive reviews over negative ones is just getting more good reviews. As you get more good reviews one after another, negative ones will automatically be pushed down to the bottom of the list. Using tools like Cloodot can help you to gain more reviews like this easily.
Note that you’ll have to focus on responding to the review and solving the issue rather than turning them down.
Your response matters.
It’s always better to respond to the review in question.
Remember that your potential customers will go through negative reviews as well. What is going to assure them about you is how you respond to the negative reviews or whether you choose to respond at all.
The choice is yours- to respond to them maturely or to avoid them altogether. Answering the concerns of the reviewer is not only going to help you in winning back their trust, but also it will boost the confidence of potential customers in you. In other words, you can make amends with unhappy customers and show prospective clients that you’re trustworthy and responsible.
Your response to the negative reviews talks volumes about you. It displays your ability to deal with the issue and to offer solutions. It highlights your earnest desire to improve and to address the problems of your customers.
How to respond to negative reviews?
We’ve seen the ‘why’ part. Let’s deal with the ‘how’ question now. You need to respond in a way that your customer feels acknowledged. Ideally, your response must prompt them to change their attitude towards you. First, you need to keep in mind these before you respond.
Be calm: though it may seem hard, it’s not impossible. Being emotional about the review can affect your response and thereby your reputation.
Don’t take it personally: It may seem like a personal attack to you. But, understand that it’s not. The customers most probably record the problem they have encountered. Though none of us are enthusiastic about criticism, let’s understand that it is not directed at us but to a shortcoming of our business.
Face the problem: Whatever the problem is, you have to face it. We can’t always run away from our problems. It’s now or never.
Be sincere: whether you’re apologizing or admitting your mistake, be sincere about it. The last thing your customers want is a hollow response.
Find the right person to respond: Every negative review is different and therefore must be treated differently. Finding the perfect person to address the issue is the key to producing the best response to a negative review. With tools like Cloodot, you can easily assign a conversation or review to anyone on your team.
Correct respectfully if they’re wrong: You cannot acknowledge your mistake if they’re groundless. Some customers may write wrong feedback too. Gently correct them and clear the misunderstanding.
Pay attention to the actual problem: Some customers may rant about anything and everything. We’ll have to pinpoint the issue and think about possible solutions. Set aside the phrases showing the emotions and dig deeper to get to the point. If they’ve just made some vague statements, you can calmly enquire about the issue they’re concerned with.
Don’t defend yourself: It’s not about proving who is right. When it comes to negative reviews, it’s always safer to stand in the ‘customer is always right’ position. Even slightly defensive notes can appear childish and can ruin your whole response. Keep in mind that your response is the reflection of your business. Denials and justifications can only help to make the conflict worse.
Respond as quickly as possible: Responding to the review after a long time won’t do any good at all. It’s always better to address the issue ASAP. But, however hard you try, you still may miss reviews. That’s when an all-in-one messaging and review management tool like Cloodot comes in handy. This way, you’ll stay updated about all the recent reviews and you can immediately respond to them.
Finally, let’s get to the ‘how to reply to bad reviews’ question. When you respond, you should:
Acknowledging your mistake and sincerely apologizing are the first things you’ve to do. Saying sorry can make a lot of difference. It may even influence the unhappy customer and alter their sentiment. A simple sorry has the power to change the opinion of someone about you.
No matter how terrible the review is, you just have to thank them for taking the trouble of writing a review. You may think thanking them is not reasonable, but it can also impact their attitude towards you and make them rethink their own words. So, appreciate them for letting you know the problem they’re facing.
This is when we actually get to the issue and acknowledge the problem they’ve raised. If you’re considerate of their anxieties and concerns, it can do a great deal in restoring their loyalty.
Now, you’ll offer them the solutions we’ve thought about. For this, brainstorm with your team quickly and try to come up with the best possible solution.
Take the conversation to a next level:
After suggesting a solution, offer the customer a private call where you can discuss the issue further. This willingness to take effort from your part can impact them and they may even decide to delete the review( but, don’t expect this).
Next time you receive a bad review, smile to yourself that you perfectly know how to deal with the negative reviews. Though it may sound absurd, laughing at negative reviews can help a lot. Remind yourself of the positives of negative reviews and respond to them carefully. While taking them lightly, bear in mind the seriousness of the issue and take special care to fix them. After all, value negative reviews as constructive criticism and take them as an opportunity to improve and grow.