When you own a business, whether you give quality products and services or how many people are avid customers of your brand, you are not spared from negative reviews online. All businesses, big or small, have already experienced receiving negative feedback from customers somewhere along the way. Although for some, negative feedback from customers may not be much of a big deal, especially if there’s a majority of people who are talking positively online about their business, it is still best to know how to properly address the matter.
But how do you do that? In this article, we will be giving you tips on how to handle negative online feedback from customers. So read on!
1. Respond Swiftly
Angry or dissatisfied customers usually make negative feedback real quick, right after a bad experience occurred. So you should also be able to respond as fast as you can, not wasting any time, and address the issue before it escalates or it is left hanging around the comment or review section of your business’ page.
Remember that with such inconvenience, your customers will be expecting a swift response from you. Doing this will help address the issue early on and ease the inconvenience felt by your customers.
2. Respond Politely and Thoughtfully
No matter what the feedback is, you should always make sure that you are to respond politely and thoughtfully to all your customers. Being able to respond to your customers in this manner will make them feel that their concerns are not neglected and that you are going to address them the best way possible.
For example, you can respond to your customers like this:
“Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry for the inconvenience. We will look into this issue and get back to you as soon as possible.”
This will serve as their assurance that you are doing something. Keep in mind that being able to address the concern of a customer can turn the negative feedback into a positive one because other customers will see that you are to properly handle such a situation. Take this also as an opportunity to think of ways to improve the quality of your products and services.
3. Be Transparent
Although it may not always be the case, you still need to acknowledge that your business is not perfect and that one way or another, you will still miss out on other details. So to keep a smooth flowing conversation with your customers, you have to be honest, transparent. The more they see that you are genuine in the way you respond, the more that they will feel at ease while they wait for you to solve their concern. Transparency can go a long way and can result in a better relationship between you and your customers.
4. Stay Calm and Be Kind
Negative feedback shouldn’t be equaled by a negative response from you. Take note that you are the one providing services, so you have to stay calm and be kind at all times. Keep it professional and don’t argue your way into them. It will not solve anything.
The best thing you can do, however, is to maintain an attitude or response in such a way that you would want to be treated if you were the customer who experienced the inconvenience. Staying calm and being kind throughout that time will benefit your business more than you know of it.
5. Handle it Offline
To properly handle negative online feedback from a customer, you have to take it offline. This simply means that your way of resolving the customer’s complaint shouldn’t be made public as this only paves a way for other people to comment on the situation, especially in this social media age where almost everything is made public. Instead, you can provide them with the direct contact information that they use to contact you and discuss the situation.
The approach of your message should look something like this:
“We have read your feedback. We apologize for the inconvenience. You can reach us through these contact details: (email address) and (mobile number). Please feel free to tell us your concern/s in detail and we will see to it that they will be addressed at your earliest convenience. Thank you.”
You should always be the first one to reach out and not your customers. Being unresponsive to your customers would suggest poor customer service.
6. Be Appreciative of the Feedback
Take every feedback you receive, whether it is positive or negative, objectively. Be appreciative of each one you receive because they are tools you can use to further improve the quality of products and services your business provides. You can use those feedback to know the strengths and weaknesses of your business. It can be quite hurtful and harsh to receive negative feedback, but take it as your opportunity to make things right while everything is just small and manageable.
7. Go the Extra Mile
Going the extra mile is not always necessary when you receive negative feedback from customers, but it does help. Although, take note that doing this varies in terms of how big the problem is or how big the inconvenience is for the customer, especially for situations where a simple apology for the inconvenience experienced will not be enough.
For example, you sent the wrong item to your customer and on top of that there was already a delay with the shipment, so out of dissatisfaction, your customer got furious and complained because of all the hassle. The first thing you can do when this happens is to apologize via a personal message or email to the customer addressing the concern. Then, along with sending the correct item, you can include a peace offering gift or any product you can offer that will serve as another way of apology for the inconvenience.
You can’t undo the problem, so the best thing to do is to provide a way to make it up to the customer by making them feel that you are sincere in providing quality service despite the inconvenience. Keep in mind that brushing off the issue and leaving it unsettled will only incur more bad reviews for your business.
8. Encourage Your Customers to Leave Feedbacks
One of the ways to boost the reputation of your business is to make sure that it gets just enough feedback or reviews from customers. Although, since no business is perfect, you can’t expect that it will always be positive. But as long as your business can make customers happy with your products and services, there will always be more positive feedback coming for you, creating a sense of balance, and giving the next customers something to bank on. There are power and influence in the feedback that customers leave.
Handling negative online feedback from customers is not exactly easy as it can be very discouraging and somehow feel damaging to your business. But as we have mentioned above, you can’t expect positive feedback from customers all the time. There is no such thing as a perfect business. If you want your business to grow and improve, you need to be open even to negative feedback and learn from them. You just also have to know how to properly approach the issue and show your customers that more than the reputation of your business, you are also concerned with providing them quality products and services.