The best way to respond to negative reviews is by responding as quickly and politely as possible. It is important to remain calm, but it’s also important not to be dismissive or angry with the reviewer.
Receiving a negative customer review is inevitable when you run a business. No matter how hard you try to make sure every customer who walks in has the perfect experience with your business, it’s not possible to please everybody.
There are just way too many things that could spoil a customer’s experience when they visit your business. Then, they’ll likely leave you a bad review on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. As the saying goes, there’s no point crying over spilled milk, but you sure can work on cleaning up the mess.
Customers leave reviews to provide other customers some of their experience with your business. And more often than not, they expect a response from anyone in your team.
The Best Way To Respond To Bad Reviews
1. Use a Proper Introduction
How you understand the customer determines how you write the response. A customer who left you a bad review is most likely either a) frustrated, b) angry, or c) disappointed with your business.
In these cases, they’re looking for someone in your team to either take responsibility for it or sort the issue out (if it’s something like delay in delivery, unanswered calls, etc.).
It could be the first time you encountered the issue or it’s something that you’re not entirely to blame for (i.e. third-party partners caused it). In any case, show customers that you’re good at serving them, and reassure them that this will be taken care of.
That means you should start with a personalized apology. Avoid contesting or arguing with the customer. It only makes the customer more infuriated and might spread bad reviews through word-of-mouth. Keep the intro and apology brief and genuine.
Here are sample templates.
This is Albert, owner of Albert’s Cafe House. We’re extremely sorry that you had a bad experience with us.
I’m Anne, the store manager at Pinky Lush Salon. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience that we have caused you.
Now, why do these introductions work?
- It addresses the customer by the first name, making it personal.
- It introduces you, the person who is accepting responsibility for the customer’s issue.
- It tells the customer that you regret that he/she wasn’t satisfied with your business.
Always make your introduction this way. Keep it concise and genuine.
2. Address the Issue
Although your personal response will intrigue customers, what they really want you to do is solve the issue. The next part of your response should immediately deal with the problem.
Here, you need to talk about the issue, give a brief explanation on why it happened, and immediately talk about what you’re doing or have done to fix it.
Here are some sample templates.
I understand that you were expecting the package to arrive on Wednesday. There has been an unfortunate delay in the shipping and our tracking system is currently under maintenance. But we’ll be delivering your item by 8:00 PM today, at the latest. I’ve already spoken to my delivery manager to make sure they will prioritize it.
Although we take great care of the ingredients of the products we serve, one of our employees seems to have overlooked the expiry date on the package our food supplier gave us. But we’re now actively working on changing our wholesale foodstuff supplier right away.
3. Make it up to them
After giving them the reason for the issue and what you’re doing to fix it, tell them how you’re going to make it up to them. Even better, ask them what they want from you to compensate for it.
Like this way.
Please visit our store again. We’d love to give you a 50% discount coupon for all the troubles we’ve caused you.
Please call me at (123) 456-7890 and let me know how we can compensate for it. I’ll sort this out for you personally.
4. Conclude Well
After all, this, apologize once more and leave your personal “signature.” Thank them for giving the feedback, and how it helps you improve the experience better for other customers.
We wish this hadn’t happened. We hope that we were of help here. Thank you for your feedback.
Manager at Jake’s Barbeque.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. We apologize for the inconvenience once again.
Customer Service at FinTech
Those are examples of negative review responses that absolutely hit the nail on the head. Make it personalized, be genuine, and solve it for your customers.