A recent study found that 88% of customers are influenced by an online review when making a purchase and one negative review on yelp can cost a company 30 customers, if not more.

There are several types of negative reviews, for instance it could be due to the product or service, the brand experience or the lack of information which lead the customer to disappointment.

The best way to deal with your negative reviews is to respond publicly (to an extent!) to ensure that the customer receives the explanation / apology and for future customers to see how you handled it (as they will be rating your customer service from this) and decide whether they will progress their purchase with your company.

How to respond

  • Acknowledge the problem

Read what they have written and “tell your story”, i.e. validate their experience. Ensure this is done in a polite manner so that you can slowly gain their trust back.

  • Say sorry

Ensure that they know this isn’t standard practice and you are disappointed that they have had a bad experience. Accepting responsibility shows them that you value them and want to fix the issue.

  1. Resolve it

Thank the customer for their comments and tell them that your company appreciates their feedback as it helps you improve your customer’s experience.

If the complaint was due to the product or service then explain to them that this won’t happen again and see if it can be replaced or they can be given some sort of discount for the product or a future purchase.

If the complaint was general or due to lack of information or a general then take the discussion offline and get an email or telephone number so you mango through what information was missing and help them understand the nature of your business and answer any questions that they may have which weren’t answered. Then use this for future FAQs on your website.

How to respond privately

Ensure that you have acknowledged and apologised publicly first then request their contact details so that you can resolve it privately as you would like to offer them a goodwill gesture.