Negative reviews management is essential to help you understand and maybe modify something your customer might have pointed out.

Negative reviews management not attended to can ruin a business or make it grow. That depends on you.

Reviews and testimonials play a crucial role in the growth of a business, especially when it comes to e-commerce. More than 85% of customers take reviews as recommendations; hence, this puts pressure on e-commerce business owners to get maximum positive reviews.

Moreover, research proves that 95% of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase decision. While 92% of B2B customers are likely to purchase after reading a positive review on a trusted site. 68% of Americans believe that a favorable review makes them use a service.

Keeping the above statistic in mind, professionals making strategic marketing plan for the B2B customers, most business owners take a negative comment as a nightmare and are scared to respond to them while seeking ways to avoid them.

However, as we all know that no online business is immune towards negative review and popular review sites and social media gives freedom for customers to express their opinions, it is often unfortunate that most offended clients make the most rackets.

Ineluctable negative reviews can create a panic in your company and it is obvious to know why. Still, there is an opportunity in every problem that may give you a chance to get close to your customer and convert an unsatisfied prospect into an advocate.

The Truth about Bad Reviews 

Negative Reviews Management

It is impractical to expect a five-star review from every customer; nevertheless companies are afraid of negative reviews. E-commerce owners should consider the fact that negative reviews are actually needed to make improvements.

A negative review doesn’t make your business bad. Handling a bad review is easy if you follow the right approach. Having a review means your customer is responding, and you can make a good relationship if you tackle them properly.  

Bad Reviews ≠ Bad Business

It is obvious to get wrapped up in a bad review for online businesses. No one likes to have negative feedback on their site.

However, it doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong. E-commerce business owners need to understand that a bad review is not equal to bad business or a bad product or service.

Negative feedbacks are often a result of mismatched expectations. Every e-commerce business owner has to deal with several bad reviews, even after providing the customer with the best.

You cannot satisfy everyone. And if everyone who closed up their businesses just because of a bad review, e-commerce may not exist by now.

5 Reasons Negative Reviews Can Be Positive 

Bad Reviews Make Good Reviews Look Better

Negative reviews are actually good for your business because they make your review section look real and authentic. Most brands with perfectly crafted positive reviews look fake and inauthentic.

Hence, when a company showcases all reviews (both positive and negative), they can easily convince their customers that they are transparent and hiding nothing from their clients.

It also demonstrates that some people were unhappy, but most of them were satisfied with the product and services.

Bad Reviews Analyze Quality

negative reviews

A study by Harvard Business School claims that the majority of prospects trust reviews more when they see a blend of good and bad feedback. Also, if the input is entirely positive, 95% of the customers believe the reviews are fake or company-screened.

So, customers know that no company is perfect, which is why it’s all about seeing honest feedback, even if it’s not all positive.

Hence, having negative feedback on your site can help you analyze your quality of work also it enhances the reliability of your company.

Bad Reviews Assist in Purchase Decisions

Negative reviews give your customer a transparent picture of what they should expect from your company. This can help you defeat the biggest challenge of e-commerce by providing clients with the realistic idea of brands.

The main reason why a customer writes a bad review is that the product, or the service failed to meet their expectations. Hence, negative reviews can help you to describe your product well and aid customers by setting a realistic picture of your product in front of them. 

Studies of 1.3 million reviews conclude that most commonly used the word in a bad review was “disappointed”. That was mentioned in 20,000 feedbacks while the next most used word was “bad” that was discussed around 7,500 times.  Hence disappointment is the main factor that leads to a negative review. 

95% of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase decision. Click To Tweet

E-commerce owners can use the information collected from that negative review to design a product description that can clearly convey the message so the customer knows what to expect. 

For example, if a clothing store’s negative review says that the shirt was too small, the new customer will know that they have to order a large size and company knows to include proper size measurement requirements to be placed with an order. Hence, both can use the bad review to make a smarter purchase decision.

Shoppers don’t purchase blindly online. They seek as much information as possible before checking out. Sometimes complains have nothing to do with the product; they may be logistic issues as well. So, negative feedbacks give insight that may not be available otherwise.

Bad Reviews Create Buzz

A buzz around your brand can help to increase your sales, even if it’s coming from a bad review. Josh Berger, marketing at Australian Masters did research that found negative buzz can increase sales while this type of publicity enhances brand awareness. He believes that “negative attention is better attention.”

Also, Botto Bistro, a California pizzeria, perfected the concept of using negative reviews to sell the benefit. They offer discounts to customers for writing bad reviews on Yelp because they wanted to fight back against manipulative reports.

The effects were as positive as expected. They were soon recognized as “Yelp’s worst-reviewed pizzeria” and got massive publicity with this strategy.

Another great example is the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Utah. They received a one-star review complaining about their tough ski courses. “I’ve heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute littered with tree wells. 

How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun,” wrote one Greg from Los Angeles. They used it as an advertisement instead of panicking. They used the humor to take advantage. 

Bad Reviews Give You Chance to Improve

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Nothing is perfect in the world and there is always room for improvement. Bad reviews can serve as an eye-opener for you and your company to help you with your SWOT analysis of your business.

Hence, responding positively to negative feedback can actually change the sales game for your business.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Manage Negative Online Reviews

Online Reputation Management

reputation management software

Usually, prospects are plagued by a specific pressing issue. Don’t make them wait as they will become more agitated. Also, there are many forums available online for customers to post a review.

It might also happen that a negative review slips from your eye and remain unsolved. This can also make a crack to your image.

To avoid this, we recommend you to use software or develop your own content management system to monitor your company’s postings regularly. Below are some reliable and tested ways to implement as soon as possible:

Google Alerts is an easy and secure way to monitor your online reputation. Set up to automated Google Alerts system to get informed whenever your brand, product, or company is mentioned online.

95% of the customers believe the reviews are fake or company-screened. Click To Tweet

Make an account on popular review websites and visit them regularly. Establish a workflow that provides easy access to these sites customers most commonly used for reviews. Trustpilot, Trustradius, Yelp, Choice, G2 Crowd and Glassdoor are some reliable platforms to play on.

Social media automation has changed the definition of a customer review by giving it an entirely new perspective, as a simple tweet can be as serve as a negative review of your business.

We recommend you to track specific keywords related to your company, products, and brand so you’ll be alerted when a customer tweets negative feedback.

Ignorance is bliss. This phrase is not applicable when it comes to running a business because not knowing what your customers have to say about your business can impact your ability to attract new customers and generate revenue.

Verifying a Negative Review

Not every bad review is worthy of your attention. If someone has posted with irrational language and opinions with frequent complaints, you better ignore them.

Also, if a negative review is displayed on an obscure personal blog, you may not respond to it as it’s utterly unfair to your business. 

Moreover, you should be careful to respond to genuine customers that have raised a high-profile query. You can filter them out to legitimate concerns posted by regular customers on popular sites.

Delegate Ownership

marketing firm reputation

Based on the data you have got from the feedback, assign the responsibility to a person in your company who can best handle the issue raised. You can also hire an experienced customer service manager to respond to those companies, reviews and issues.  

Your negative reviews management process should know who is working on what.

A vast experienced sales representative with a good relationship management skill can also be an asset to you.

If you have insufficient information about the customer, you may like to delegate the ownership to the customer service officer or the sales representative who can adapt on the fly and handle these types of scenarios.

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Engage Customer Privately

Canned messaging can work to an extent; however, connecting with your customer on private chat addressing with their first name develops an instant connection.

The customer’s mindset may switch from negative to the positive one when it comes to engaging them on a personal level. 

Instead of saying “Hello Mr. Pine” state “Hi Mark” this will build your connection instantly. Show them how much you are concerned about them and how much you care for them.

Let them feel valuable. Prospect observe how you respond to their problems and how you provide results. This plays a vital role in retaining e-commerce customers and gives you a significant lift in revenue.

Complete Guide to Negative Reviews Management Click To Tweet

Post a Public Response

After communicating effectively with your customer, posting a public response is the next step to take. Acknowledging the concern and outlining your input to resolve the issue publicly is a good idea. 

This will boost your awareness and built a good reputation among readers to see you responding to the feedback. Despite the time, your staff will take to resolve the issue, posting the comment will let your reader give a glance of your positivity.

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Take Action to Resolve Issue

An apology is not enough to change the customer’s perspective. Instead, resolving his / her issue is much more likely to change their negative mind for your business. Research proves that 70% of the customers who complained will do business again if the company successfully resolves their problem.

Make sure your negative reviews management is capturing all your problem resolutions.

Hence it is a better idea to consult the department which is best equipped to handle the problem, once you have understood it from your client’s end.

For example, if it’s a technical issue, forward your complaint to the engineering team. If the issue is of delivery, send it to the e-commerce logistics department.  As both parties address the problems, stay in touch with both to confirm when the issue is solved. Till then, have a strong follow up.

Create a formal process for handling customer reviews and resolve complains. Channeling the procedure will save time to you and your prospect. Professional workflow is always an excellent choice to tackle issues efficiently.

Offer a Token of Gratitude

Offering your client an additional token of gratitude after the issue being resolved is a generous way to show your client that you care.

If your mistake has caused you the customer to lose his / her valuable time or money, compensate it with a voucher, a gift or a discount. 

Be cautious while sending gifts. Don’t throw it to every person who voices a negative opinion about your company.

Your objective should not be rewarding for a negative review or appreciating a negative empty gesture. Your priority should be clear that you want to fix a problem of your potential customer and make the things right appropriately.

Add to their Experience

After doing every possible thing to make your client happy, still, if he/she is not satisfied with your customer service, this may be your last straw. You need to be more proactive to make sure they feel attended. 

Provide them with the best possible information, replacement offer or a refund offer in worst case scenario.

The client will definitely want to have a quick response, so this is your last chance to create a stable long-term positive impression.

Report and Make Strategic Improvements

Honestly, negative feedback or a bad review is a blessing in disguise. They help to identify your flaws that you would not be able to see otherwise. Report your regular issues and make a strategy to improve them to prevent further lousy feedback. 

Most of the bad reviews have a common trend that may navigate a particular problem. Execute a foolproof solution to make it work smoothly.

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Wrap Up on Negative Review Management

A negative reviews management system can save an e-commerce company.

As mentioned above, there is no way to satisfy each and every customer who has an issue with your company. The only thing you can do is to handle them with care. 

If you do so, you will win your customer’s heart and their loyalty for a lifetime. Hence take negative feedback as an opportunity to expand your client pool. By this, you will make a positive impact on your customers, your employees, and your brand.

It’s important that your content and website provides your users with great customer experience.

Nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes. Your customer feedback whether good or bad experiences you must respond. Responding to negative reviews builds trust with your target audience.

Be sure your negative reviews management is working.

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Stella Lincoln is a qualified marketing consultant, currently working as a Creative Marketing Manager at Crowd Writers. She owns an online reputation management firm. Stella has a former working experience of writing consultant at Harper Collins Publishers, contributing to Educator House as well.