HelpfulCrowd encourages publishing all negative reviews if it is within the review guidelines.
Let's face it, we all love 5 star reviews, but the reality is that it's really, really hard to please everyone - the sooner we accept that we don't live, work and play in a 5 star world, the easier it is to get down to the actual business of focusing on leveraging those 1 to 3 star reviews for our benefit.
At HelpfulCrowd we believe that honesty and transparency is the only way to build real trust and confidence with consumers, and we believe that negative reviews are great for business!
We want to share our thoughts on negative reviews and how to best use these for your business.
Negative reviews are great for business...with some caveats!
Publishing negative reviews has been proven to increase credibility and shows that you run a transparent and honest business - of course too many negative reviews isn't great for any business, but there will be leanings in those which will lead to nuggets of success.
Your consumers already know that no-one is perfect and in fact treat stores with only has 5 star reviews with a great deal of scepticism and caution. Studies show that 95% of people believe reviews are fake or company screened if it only has 5 star reviews.
There are many reasons why a negative review may be written and the simple truth is that it probably has nothing to do with your service or product, but is most likely the result in perceived expectations.
Negative reviews, handled correctly, are great for business as they:
- show your reviews are real
- can help set expectations and reduce more future negative reviews as a result of the customer being more informed to make smarter purchase decisions
- can create discussions and sharing of opinions on social channels
- show that you care enough to take the time to pay special attention
Tips for managing negative reviews
1. Stay calm...and carry on
Don't take the review personally and don't respond immediately. Continue to run your business.
2. Understand the customer's point of view
You don't have to agree with the review, but try to step into the customers shoes, reflect and understand why they have posted it.
3. Research the issue
Get the full story before deciding what the next step is. Ask your staff, delivery company, review the product and ideally communicate with the reviewer privately with our Smart Email Assistant to discuss their concerns better.
Remember, when communicating with the reviewer it is always a good idea to:
- introduce yourself
- thank them for their business and for taking the time to write the review
- show empathy for their concerns - this does not necessarily mean that you need to admit any wrongdoing, but that you can understand why they are dissatisfied
- outline and replay what you understand their concerns to be
Most customers are just appreciative for that fact that you have taken the time to contact them and listen to their concerns.
At this point you should focus on resolving the issue and sharing how their legitimate concerns have helped your business - about a product, labelling, process or some other aspect.
Resolution may take many forms - you will know what the best solution is for the specific circumstances.
4. Respond publicly
Regardless of the interactions and outcome with your customer, we always recommend to reply and publish the review publicly:
- acknowledging the concern
- outlining what you have done/are doing to resolve it
If you have been unable to contact the reviewer and some time has passed, you may decide to respond publicly so that other consumers can see that you have tried to take positive action.
5. Learn, move on and create a ton of new positive reviews
Success is created from a journey of learnings. Try to be honest and objective with every negative review and use it as an opportunity to learn something new for your future success.
Most importantly, always treat your customers as you would like to be treated.
If your customer is aggressive, threatening, sarcastic and is out to damage your reputation, take the high ground and always be professional, polite and constructive - both privately as well as publicly.
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