Everybody’s a critic—especially in this day and age where people can say what they want online while staying completely anonymous. It has become so unbelievably easy to bash anyone and anything that it seems a lot of people have picked it up as a hobby.
What does this mean for your brand? Well, one poor review can easily translate to millions lost in sales, especially if you have a strong online presence. It doesn’t even matter whether the review is fake or not, a casual spectator wouldn’t know the difference so you’d look bad either way.
So what are you to do? Do you simply apologize to every irate customer? Do you call people out for posting made-up bad reviews? Well, there are no set rules when it comes to dealing with negative feedback, but you can minimize the damage with these quick tips:
The more time you spend not answering bad reviews, the more time spectators have to form a negative opinion about your brand—and since word of mouth spreads so much faster today—thanks to social media—this can cause some serious harm to your brand.
In contrast, being quick to respond to feedback makes it clear that you care about your customer, so whatever it was that prompted them to post a bad review in the first place would seem more of a one-off incident than the actual way that you do business.
Don’t fight back
The worst thing you can do when it comes to handling negative feedback is to become defensive and take it personally. It does nothing but make you and your brand look bad.
Keep in mind that there’s always several ways of saying the same thing, and, in this case, choosing the most pleasant one is always the best play. No matter how annoying or offensive a review is, you have to keep your cool and handle the situation professionally and in line with your brand image.
Offer an actual solution
But it’s not all about responding quickly and keeping your cool. You have to offer a solution or perform any other gesture that shows that you’re serious about wanting to make things right.
Online gaming companies, for instance, offer freebies and all sorts of boosts to players whenever their servers go down unexpectedly. Restaurants give free meals to make good with customers who have been made to wait a little too long. It doesn’t matter how big or small the gesture is, what matters is how you make the customer feel. Make them see that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make amends.
Follow through on your promises
Of course, you also need to keep the promises you make. If you say an issue will be resolved in an hour, you have to ensure that it is. Otherwise, you’re doing more harm than good, making your customers trust you even less.
Treat negative feedback as an opportunity
It’s the perfect chance to show the world that your brand is not all about making money but has a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of consumers. It’s a great way to increase brand loyalty and build a stronger and more lasting relationship with your customers.
What’s the worst negative review you’ve ever received or seen? Share it with us in the comments!