Critical Tips for Handling Critical Reviews

Building a name for your business is essential in today’s highly-competitive e-commerce marketplace. Without an adequate combination of reputation and marketing, your brand is not likely to succeed in any meaningful way. Before people commit to purchasing a service or product, they want to learn more about other people’s experiences. This is why both shoppers and search engines value reviews so highly. Inevitably, you are going to encounter bad experiences with customers: how you handle the experience (and more importantly, the review) can make or break your brand. Today, we’ll talk about how you should handle critical reviews left by your customers.

Establish a Protocol

The first and arguably best thing you can do before responding to any critical reviews is to have a system in place for when the time comes. You, your employees and anybody else who might handle the responses or engagement should be aware of exactly what needs to be done when you discover somebody has left a negative review somewhere. This can prevent a rash action or decision that ultimately spirals out of control. By pinging users with a consistent, thoughtful and well-planned response that was conceived ahead of time, you can avoid some of the messy situations that other businesses and brands have found themselves in.

Show Sympathy

The dialogue that other people read when encountering one of your bad reviews may have an even bigger impact on their decision than the bad review itself. How you handle the situation and how you respond determines the tone, and may ultimately dismiss or validate the complaints of the person leaving the negative review. Showing sympathy to the plight of the person who experienced a negative situation can demonstrate to others that this is an isolated incident or a complete falsehood, rather than something that embodies the business. You may also be able to resolve a potentially difficult situation before it develops merely by engaging with the person critiquing you in a sympathetic fashion.

Be Personal

A sense of professionalism is key in attracting business, but you also want to show that you’re a human being in times like this. Whenever somebody leaves a bad review, it makes sense to address their concerns from a personal standpoint. This not only means addressing their specific concerns, but doing so from the perspective of an individual human being as well. Any way in which you can personally relate to the situation or demonstrate that you are in fact just another person who wants to resolve the situation will play well in the eyes of prospective customers who later read the review. You don’t want to be pinging users with the impression that you’re some cold, faceless corporate entity that is generating a cookie-cutter response to a negative review.

Negative reviews are never fun, but they are often unavoidable. Sooner or later, you’ll experience this situation. It pays to be prepared, be personal and be sympathetic in these situations. What are some other situations where you’ve had to deal with criticism of your brand? Let us know about your experiences below in the comments.


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