Having a solid online reputation is crucial for any business nowadays. While multiple aspects go into building your online presence, reviews play a massive role in your business’s reputation, especially in the online world. Because of this, it’s more important than you think to respond to and acknowledge negative reviews for your business. While it may hurt, everyone makes mistakes, and it’s impossible to make every customer happy. Therefore, by acknowledging negative reviews, you can help keep your online reputation better than ever by showing you care about your customers’ experiences.
Here are just a few reasons that your business should answer negative reviews on Google. Your response:
1. Acknowledges the Customer’s Experience
One of the biggest reasons a business should answer a negative review is acknowledging that customer’s experience. Sometimes mistakes happen, and when they do, both the company and the employees need to recognize that. No person or business is perfect, and most of the time, people just want their voices heard. By acknowledging the experience that a customer had at your business, whether good or bad, you can come across as customer-oriented and caring, despite having a negative review.
2. Reaches Future Customers
Surveys done on consumers found that 86% of people read reviews for their local businesses online. This means that the majority of your current customers, as well as your future customers, will see both the positive and negative reviews left online. The same surveys found that out of all consumers that read reviews, 97% of them also read business owners’ replies. By replying to your business’s negative reviews, your customers will be able to see that you care about the experiences they have. On top of that, you can help shape the narrative that people see of your company online.
3. Can Potentially Win a Customer Back
Replying to a negative review has more power than most business owners think. While no one likes reading a negative review, responding to one can help potentially save you a customer. Statistics indicate that around 70% of consumers will do business with a company again when their complaint is answered and resolved. This means that if you get back in contact with the person who had a poor experience and try to fix it, you may be able to keep them as a loyal customer.
4. Helps Your Online Reputation
Your company’s online reputation is crucial in more ways than one. Your online presence is not only most customer’s first impression of your business, but it’s also where people go to learn about your business, which is why it’s so important to curate it the best you can. When replying to reviews, whether good or bad, you actually help boost your business’s rankings and online reputation. Surveys also found that people are less likely to leave a negative review when they see business owners responding to comments. This means that replying to negative comments might save you from some in the future.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Responding to negative reviews isn’t the easiest task for any business owner, but it can help build customer loyalty and your online reputation. Here are a few tips on writing responses to negative reviews:
1. Respond Quickly
Addressing the concerns of the customer who had a negative experience is essential. You want to make sure that you respond quickly, within a few days maximum. This way, they can see that you care and want to work toward fixing the issue.
2. Apologize for the Poor Experience
Sometimes mistakes occur, or the standards of a customer just are not met. When this happens, apologizing to the customer for what happened means much more than you may think. One of the biggest problems consumers struggle with is having their voices heard by those higher up.
3. Acknowledge the Issues That Occurred
When responding to the negative review, address the issues or problems that occurred and name them directly. This way, your customers will know you are holding your business accountable for these mistakes and are working to fix them.
4. Refund or Valid Explanation to Resolve Issue
After apologizing for the inconveniences and acknowledging what happened, the next course of action is to resolve the issue. For example, offer the customer a refund, credit, or a discount that makes up for their experience. Or, you can give a valid explanation for what occurred if there is one.
5. Invite Customer to Contact You
To end your response, invite the customer who left the negative review to contact you with any further questions or problems. Let them know that you are always open to discussing the situation further.