Dealing with Negative Reviews – A Walkthrough
When you work so hard to improve your reputation online, it can be a serious blow to the gut to see negative reviews begin to pop up. For whatever reason, this is a natural part of doing business online. From genuinely disgruntled customers who didn’t receive a product in the promised fashion or time frame to those who would merely leave negative reviews to hurt your business, this is a cold-hard reality in today’s e-commerce world. While you cannot stop these negative reviews from occurring, you can minimize the occurrence of them and mitigate any potential damage. Below, we’ll talk about how to properly deal with negative reviews and the ways in which you can choose to do so.
Your Choices of Dealing with Negative Reviews
There are three main ways in which you can choose to deal with negative reviews as they appear, and each strategy will largely depend on the legitimacy and style of the review in question. The first option is to contact the review site. This will occur only in instances in which the review can be determined to be a part of a blatant smear campaign; without clear evidence of the sort, the review site will not intervene. The second option revolves around pinging users with your own feedback of the situation by joining the conversation. This can help explain any misunderstandings and ultimately negate some of the validity of select criticisms. The third option is one that occurs before the reviews even occur, and is known as reputation management. This is primarily a way to negate negative review influence, and revolves around not addressing the negative review in a direct fashion.
Jumping Into the Conversation – Understanding the People
If you choose to get involved with the conversation on one of many review websites, then understand a few things going into this. First of all, it is important to understand the specific audience that will be viewing these reviews. Some websites will have review constituencies that are more likely to genuinely accept both sides, while others will be cynic of any comment made by an alleged perpetrator. By knowing what each site is like with respect to its audience, you’ll avoid coming across as flippant or getting trolled by a community that doesn’t really care about sincerity all that much.
Jumping Into the Conversation – Apologize and Rectify
An apology is always crucial when entering a conversation involving a bad review. If you do not attempt to make an apology for what has occurred, then you will be pinging users with the sense that you really do not care. If you did something wrong, then acknowledge it. If not, then be sure to sympathize with the user and apologize for the bad experience anyway.
Last but not least, you’ll want to attempt to resolve any bad blood by fixing the problem in question. In some cases, this will not be possible, but there is always a way to reach out in the form of rectifying a bad situation. This can range from a full product refund to special discounts in the future. As long as you have made a good-faith attempt to fix the issue, then you’ve done all that you can do.