Reviews are the best form of free marketing for the brands as long as the customers are happy. Your potential customers will use them to decide whether they can trust a new brand or not. Now, it is easier than ever to post or find reviews courtesy of social media and search engines.
However, these reviews can turn into a nightmare if some customers are unhappy with the transaction, product, or services. The brand image can take a severe hit if the negative reviews are left unattended. You need a strategy for damage control and regain the trust of the customers.
This blog will discuss some tips for small businesses to manage negative reviews from the customers.
- Find the Cause
The negative reviews are there because of some problems customers are facing. You need to address the issue before you come up with an apologetic response. Check whether the problem is with a single product, batch, or the complete process.
It may take some time to find the cause of the problem. You need to make sure the same issue is not creating more damage. You may have to take some extreme measures that include putting a hold on service until the problem is discovered.
- Work on the Solution
Once the problem is identified, it is time to find a solution for it. Invite the heads of concerned departments, and ask them for possible solutions. They need to assess the efficiency of the solution and find the associated risk.
Act immediately to get the solution implemented and inform the affected customers about it. There is no need to share everything associated with the problem or solution unless it is necessary. You can borrow money in the UK from direct lenders to cover the cost of crisis management.
- Do Not Delete the Reviews
You should never delete the negative reviews even, if there are fake. It may frustrate the customers even more, and there is no end to the damage because of it. If they had done it once, they might do it again with even more brutal criticism.
Post an answer to the negative reviews to let the customers know you care about their opinion and hardship. It will reflect your customer service to potential customers. And many people will delete the reviews if you offer some solution to them.
- Response in Time
Do not let the same review to post everywhere because of negligence. You should answer the reviews quickly before the customers move to another platform. This will save your brand image on at least the other platforms.
Also, quick response time means the brand actively engages with the customers to solve their issues. Other customers will feel there is some genuine issue, and you are trying the best to resolve it. Acknowledge the problem if the solution is not discovered yet.
- Answer Politely to the Fake Reviews
As mentioned earlier, many competitors will use fake reviews to malign your brand image. You don’t have to take leave them unattended or use a rude answer to them. The real customers may think of them as genuine reviews.
Therefore, answer every review politely, even if it looks like a fake one. Specific indicators can help you identify these unethical acts. They are short and filled with product detail you can easily find in the description section.
- Offer Compensation
Your customers have faced some difficulty because of a mistake from your side. They may have incurred a financial loss, and you might not get away with an apology or patch. In this situation, it is relatively reasonable to give them some compensation for the troubles.
You can offer replacement of the product if it is defective beyond a simple repair. Many brands provide refunds or coupons for future purchases. You can apply for loans with no guarantor if you for the budget to offer the compensation.
- Use Facts
While addressing the problem, always use the facts. This will help the customers understand the issue with no miscommunication. They will appreciate your honest approach to the problem.
The online review process is a bit more complex than face-to-face communication. Your small business cannot afford a bunch of angry customers posting negative reviews about customer service everywhere. Therefore, make sure the message is clear and never call them wrong.
- Evaluate the Process
Customer experience is a critical aspect of any business. You should evaluate the process and method used to manage negative reviews. Look for the areas of improvement to change those leftover negative reviews into positive ones.
There is always some room for improvement when it comes to interaction with the customers. This will save time in planning if some other problem surfaces in the future.
- Create a Balance
The customers will rarely buy a product or services from a business with ratings below 3. It is the most common threshold for people, even if they are dealing with a significant brand. Therefore, you need to have enough positive reviews on the site to balance the negative ones.
Don’t fall for the fake reviews, as many customers easily identify them. You need to ask them to share the experience on their preferred site. Offer them some discount or coupon for sharing the feedback to increase the number of reviews.
- Communicate Offline
Businesses respond to online reviews through the same platform or emails. It is a defensive strategy to avoid intrusion into personal space. However, offline contact will make them feel valued about their feedback.
Give them a call if you have their contact number or ask them with a direct message. Give them a call whenever they find it comfortable to discuss the problem. And you may turn those negative reviews into 5 stars for customer satisfaction.
In the end, many businesses turn negative reviews into an opportunity to improve their services. It is okay to make some mistakes if you are in the business for the long haul. Nevertheless, you should learn from them and improve if you don’t want them to turn into a disaster.