Since over 70% of consumers check online reviews before making a purchase. It’s now a fact of life that positive reviews can attract potential customers while negative reviews can scare them away. Consequently, many business owners have become worried about negative reviews and their first instinct is to take a defensive posture. However, wise entrepreneurs know that all communications are an important part of their branding strategy so it’s vital to maintain a positive image at all times.
When a bad review happens you should promptly reply in a positive and friendly tone. Make the customer feel heard and respected by re-stating their specific issue, apologize for any misunderstandings that may have occurred and make a kind offer to resolve the issue. If your company never responds to complaints it will create the impression that you aren’t concerned about customer satisfaction. Even worse, if you reply to the reviewer in a defensive or insulting tone, other readers will think “Uh oh, red flag, I definitely will not be doing business with that company!”.
In business, honest feedback is actually a gift. You should be very interested in what issues are upsetting your customers. It’s an opportunity to learn about company weaknesses so that you can correct them. Even if the relationship with one customer has ended, you still have the opportunity to present a gracious and professional style to the millions of other people who may read the review. Be aware that you are not simply replying to one person, you are communicating with the entire digital world.