How to handle negative reviews

Negative reviews can sometimes seem like the end of the world… but don’t panic! Both negative and positive reviews are part of the deal when it comes to ecommerce… even when they aren’t the most helpful for you, or other customers!

But the fact is that having reviews from both sides of the spectrum in volume will mean a higher conversion rate. Seems odd at first right? But having that mix reduces the suspicion that these are manufactured reviews, pushing the authority of your store that much higher.

So what should you do if you get that dreaded low score? Well here are some simple tips to help you deal with this thorny issue.

1. Respond promptly

It might be tempting to just ignore negative reviews, and focus your energy on other matters. But not only can this lead to annoyance on the part of the reviewer (and the possibility of spreading this bad feeling on other channels), it is also a missed opportunity, which leads us to our next tip….

2. Apologise/sympathise and resolve their complaint (if legitimate)

Sometimes the service/product you provided just didn’t live up to expectations for the consumer (whether this was your fault or not). However always try to fix the issue to the best of your ability. By doing so you can show that you are transparent and can be trusted – not just for that particular consumer, but for all who read the review.

3. Try to have the review adjusted/removed through positive action

Now you’ve done all that hard work to resolve the issue you have the golden opportunity to turn things round. By providing a solution to the consumer’s problem (whether that be a refund, replacement product etc.) you can now ask if they would be willing to edit or remove their negative complaint. This not only build trust and loyalty with the consumer, it demonstrates that your business is safe for those checking up on your site by reading reviews.

4. Educate the reviewer (and the other potential buyers)

Sometimes a negative review can be based upon a misunderstanding by a consumer. Their frustration could be based on misreading a product description (or not reading it at all), or simple lack of knowledge on the purpose of the item.

By educating the user you can help salvage the situation, but even if this does not happen, by posting in a public manner you could be helping another potential buyer about to make the same mistake.

What NOT to do!

  • Take things personally

Let’s be honest, customer reviews are not always the most polite of feedback a business can receive. However never, ever take things personally! In fact one third of users who leave reviews do so in order to help others.

  • Always keep things professional

Always and I mean always try to be the bigger person when it comes to negative reviews. By being anything less than professional and stopping too their level can lead to a lot of trouble! By always trying to deescalate the issue, you can keep negative views to a review and away from wider exposure through social media or word-of-mouth.

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