Dealing With Negative Product Reviews – How?
What is the point of running a business, without really knowing what your customers think of your product?
Product reviews act as the ultimate guide to knowing what your customers really want, and they also act as a guidebook for the other potential customers who trust the other buyers more than the seller. And they’re not wrong in doing so. Only someone who has actually used a product would be able to comment on their experience as an user.
So opinions of your customers matter, not just from a feedback point-of-view, but also because they tend to act like a marketing strategy, except there isn’t really a strategy in place here.
The strategy comes in, when there are negative reviews that you have to deal with.
And there are always negative reviews to deal with.
You can not expect a 100% positive feedback – there’s no such thing out there. But you don’t have to worry about negative reviews, till you learn something from them – about what went wrong from your side, or what better way could you deal a certain situation in, an so on.
But, people tend to believe the negatives far more than the positives, because bad publicity is always interesting – more attractive. So there’s a way to handling these reviews – a way which helps you help your customer as well as your business.
Are They Genuine Or Just A Cheap Gimmick?
Whether it’s a just a stunt someone’s playing on you, or is is it a real problem that you’re dealing with – you need to know it, in order to decide whether it’s worth responding to or not. You’ll always find people employing cheap strategies, just to get a reaction out of you. So, before you start commenting, look into the matter – check whether the person is really a customer or not, or have they actually made a complaint – called or sent an email before – or not, and then think of an apt reply.
Any Real Problem Needs To Be Addressed
If you realize that it is no cheap stunt, that it’s an actual problem your customer is facing, then there’s no way you can ignore it. So you have to check the customer’s order, check what went wrong, look at any email thread that you must have, and accordingly figure out an answer. As you apologise for the discomfort that was caused to your customer, provide them with a solution without asking them to provide you with further details. This one thing will definitely leave a fine impression on them.
But, in case, you are unable to figure out the exact problem, you shouldn’t waste any time in gathering all the information you can from the customer himself, and get it resolved as soon as possible.
The thing with a genuine negative review, is that you absolutely have to respond. You can not ignore it. That leaves a very bad impression, not just on this one said customer, but on others who are keeping a close watch over the whole conversation thread too. And these people could be your current customers, your potential customers – anyone.
So, do not risk your business by not responding to an actual problem.
Deal in a Positive Manner
When someone lists everything they hate about your product, and you think they might have a bit of a point there, the first step is of course apologising, followed by taking care of the problem. But there’s a chance, that the situation is beyond any help; and in that case, you can probably try to zero in on a middle way – a way to somehow compensate (monetarily, or giving them a free coupon, or something), and finally reassure the customer that it will never happen again.
It’s the way of response that really matters, though. However negative a review, it never is about giving an excuse for something you obviously messed up, but it’s about looking like a company, that really means it while apologising.
Because nobody expects a person or a company to never make a mistake. That’s an unrealistic expectation, and one that your customers don’t have. All, that people expect is, for you to own up to it, be nice, come up with a solution, and hopefully not commit the same mistake twice.
The important thing to remember at all times is that bad reviews do not necessarily mean bad business. You don’t have to get disheartened over bad reviews. You just have to focus on handling them the right way. Because it’s the way you respond that lets other people see your way of dealing with a problem, and it is how you eventually turn a bad review into a good one.