How to Respond to Negative Reviews? 5 Example Responses

Goutham JayGoutham Jayยท
Nov 21, 2023
How to Respond to Negative Reviews? 5 Example Responses
How to Respond to Negative Reviews? 5 Example Responses

I'll be honest: Negative reviews are an inevitable part of running a business. No matter how hard you try to please everyone, there will always be someone who has a bad experience.

However, the way you handle these negative reviews can make a big difference.

Some companies handle it well which prompts the customers to share this on their social media increasing the brand value of the company while other companies might get canceled when they take a customer's review in bad taste

Why responding to negative reviews is important?

We're all human beings and we tend to make mistakes. You'll be surprised to know customers are more forgiving than you think as long as you're ready to improve.

In fact, a well-written response to a negative review can show potential customers that you are professional and that you take customer feedback seriously. It can also turn a negative experience into a positive one, and even encourage the reviewer to change their opinion of your business.

Just have a look at this example where Allen Solly owns up to their mistake. This has also built a lot of social capital for them

Allen Solly's Response


Impact of Negative Reviews:

If you ignore a genuine negative review, there can be serious consequences that would directly affect your business. Here's what happens:

Damage to Reputation:

Negative reviews can erode your business's reputation which would have taken quite a lot of effort for you to build, making potential customers question the quality of your products or services.

This can lead to a loss of trust and a decline in brand perception.

Reduced Sales:

Negative reviews can dissuade potential customers from making a purchase, leading to a decrease in sales. In fact, a study found that 86% of users will think twice about buying from a company with negative reviews

Even a single negative review can significantly impact your conversion rates.

Loss of Customer Loyalty:

Negative reviews can also lead to the loss of existing customers much more than we think.

For instance, if a well-known person in a niche publicly shares on social media that their concerns as a customer are not being addressed or that their feedback is not valued, they are more likely to influence your existing customers to switch to a competitor.

Increased Customer Acquisition Costs:

As a business owner, you'd already know that acquiring new customers is often more expensive than retaining existing ones.

Negative reviews can make it more difficult and costly to attract new customers, as they may be hesitant to do business with a company with a poor online reputation.


Negative Review Responses with Examples:

You'd by default want to defend your business when a negative review comes in. That's quite normal as it's human nature. But you need to think long-term when approaching negative reviews

Your response needs to try and win the dissatisfied customer and also impress future potential customers.

Here are some examples of how you can respond to different types of negative reviews

1. Bad Treatment by the Company Staff - Negative Review

Here's an example of a bad review left by a customer when they visited a restaurant. Here the problem seems to be due to the employee's treatment

Negative Review due to Bad Treatment

Review: "I had a terrible experience at [business name]. The staff was rude and they were not genuine in their responses. I will never go back!"

Response:

"Dear [Reviewer name],

I am so sorry to hear that you had a negative experience at our company. We take customer feedback very seriously and we will use your comments to improve our services.

I would like to personally apologize for the rude behavior of our staff. We are committed to providing excellent customer service and we will take disciplinary action against the staff members who were involved in this incident.

I would also like to apologize for the quality of the food. We are always striving to improve our menu and we will take your feedback into consideration.

I hope that you will give us another chance to serve you in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
[Your designation]"


2. Product Quality Deteriorated - Negative Review

In this example, a customer seemed to be happy with the purchase of a product initially and left a positive review. But they seemed to be dissatisfied after a period of using the product which prompted them to leave a negative review

Product Quality Deteriorated - Negative Review

Review: "I ordered a product from [business name] and it was great when it arrived. But after 3-4 months the product started malfunctioning & did not work as expected. I tried to contact customer service but they were no help. I would not recommend this product to anyone!"

Response:

"Dear [Reviewer name],

I am very sorry that you received a faulty product. We take quality control very seriously and we will investigate this issue immediately.

I would also like to apologize for the poor customer service you received. We strive to provide excellent customer service and we will take steps to ensure that this does not happen again.

I have already contacted you via email to offer personalized support for this product and I would like to offer you a discount on your next purchase.

Thank you for your feedback. We will use it to improve our products and services.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
[Your designation]"


3. Software issues - Negative Review

In this example, a customer of a productivity software seems to face a lot of issues despite being a paying customer and seems to have unexpected issues with their subscription payment

Software Issues - Negative Review

Review: "I find [software product name] to be extremely slow & buggy whenever I or my team uses it. On top of this, they also increased the price for us suddenly without any prior notifications"

Response:

"Hey, [Reviewer Name]! ๐Ÿ‘‹

We truly appreciate the time that you took to share details about your experience: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We can take it, we promise!

We want nothing but the best for [product name] users, and we will remain focused on fixing bugs and the overall speed of the platform.

Our Support team would also be happy to look into the pricing increase that you experienced. We understand how important financial matters are and it is never our intention to blindside our users with billing changes!

You can reach our Support experts at help@email.com if you would like us to investigate.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything at all! Have an amazing day. โœจ"


4. Positive but room for improvement - Negative Review

This is a less critical review where the customer is kind and gives suggestions on how the business can further improve its service

Positive but room for improvement - Negative Review

Review: "I've been a customer of [product name] and have found it to be a great experience so far. However, I also wish to point out a few errors and bugs which can be rectified. The product also would get to the next level if they improve the UI and make it easy for us to use"

Response:

"Hey, [Reviewer Name]!

We're excited that you have been a customer for so long and we truly appreciate the time that you took to share details about your experience

We are working day and night to make [product name] valuable to our users, and we will remain focused on fixing bugs.

Also, we have an update coming up which should make the UI easy to navigate.

You can reach our Support experts at help@email.com if you would like us to help you with any issues.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance."


5. When you're not Responsible for the Problem - Negative Review

There are situations when customers leave a negative review for a problem for which you were not fully responsible. It's better to handle such reviews diplomatically

Not Responsible for the Problem - Negative Review

Review: "I've been using [product name] and had a good experience for all the time I've been a customer. But I found an issue when availing the service of [freelancer name] listed on the platform who didn't deliver the expected results. This was disappointing with [product name]"

Response:

"Hey, [Reviewer Name]!

Thank you for bringing this issue up to our notice.

We strive hard to provide a better experience to our customers everytime however this issue also seems to be more about a particular partner on our platform than the platform itself

We've already taken note of this issue and are investigating this with the partner and are working for a refund of the service.

We also request you to kindly consider the partner's ratings & reviews on our platform before opting for their service in future

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance."


Tips for responding to negative reviews

Here are some tips you should keep in mind when responding to negative reviews:

  1. Stay calm and don't take it personally. It's important to remember that the reviewer is simply expressing their own opinion. Don't get defensive or try to argue with them.
  2. Respond promptly. The sooner you respond, the better. This shows that you are taking the review seriously and that you are committed to resolving the issue.
  3. Acknowledge the reviewer's concerns. Start by thanking the reviewer for their feedback. Then acknowledge the specific issues that they raised.
  4. Apologize (even if you don't think you're wrong). Even if you don't believe that you are responsible for the reviewer's negative experience, it is a good idea to apologize & then explain. This shows that you are empathetic and that you care about your customers' satisfaction.
  5. Offer a solution. If possible, offer to resolve the issue for the reviewer. This could involve a refund, a discount, or an exchange.
  6. Invite the reviewer to contact you offline. If the issue is complex or if you need more information, invite the reviewer to contact you offline to discuss the matter further.
  7. Personalize your response. Avoid using generic or canned responses. Take the time to personalize your response to each individual review.
  8. Use appropriate language. Use professional and respectful language. Avoid using jargon or slang.
  9. Be concise and to the point. Get your message across without being overly verbose.
  10. Proofread your response before posting it. Make sure your response is free of typos and grammatical errors.


Taking Negative Reviews to the next level

At first glance, you might think that negative reviews would only hurt your business. But you can actually use negative reviews to improve your business. Here's how:

  1. Analyze the feedback. What are the common themes in the negative reviews? What can you do to address these issues?
  2. Make changes to your business. Use the feedback to make changes to your products, services, or policies.
  3. Share your success stories. Once you have made changes to your business, share your success stories with your customers. This will show them that you are committed to continuous improvement.


FAQs

1. How do I know if a negative review is genuine?

Genuine negative reviews have specific details about the customer's experience rather than just plain critique like "[Product] is bad"

2. Should I respond to every negative review?

If a negative review is genuine and the customer has valid concerns, then acknowledge them publicly.

3. Is it advisable to offer compensation for negative experiences?

There's no hard & fast rule. Offering compensation is subjective. Evaluate the situation and consider offering a discount if you feel that the customer would return to your business & demonstrate goodwill.

4. How long should I wait before responding to a negative review?

It's best to respond as soon as possible


Conclusion:

In this article, we just saw how negative reviews if left unattended can affect a business badly. We also saw how you can handle negative reviews and use them to your advantage

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