Every business thrives to perfect the art of being successful. Being successful largely depends on how your customers see your business. In today’s world, customers have the power to affect how your business performs. How? Through reviewing your brand. While positive reviews can increase the number of new as well as loyal customers, negative reviews can really bring your reputation down. And when most businesses face stiff competition nowadays, negative reviews can make it even harder for you to outrun your competitors. If your company has less than four-star rating, people may not consider your brand to be trustworthy.
There have been instances when companies with too many negative reviews had to shut their operations or remove their businesses from listing. However, there are also many companies that have rectified what went wrong and have turned the negative reviews into positive ones. I’m sure that you don’t want to be in the first place where you have to close your business or remove it from listing. So, how to turn the negative reviews into the positive ones? Read on to find out.
What is negative review?
When people buy the product or service that you offer, sometimes they are not happy. When they are not happy, they leave a review on a website where your business is listed. In some cases, you may not even know that your business is being mentioned on the web. So, when people are not satisfied with what they get, they write negative reviews about your product or service. This can hamper your business as nowadays we all go through reviews before spending on anything.
However, a negative review is not the end of the world. There is always room for improvement. So, if one of your customers is not happy and left a negative review, you can work on it. You can try and improve the service or product you provide. In case your customer is not happy with a product, you can offer to replace it. And if it is not replaceable, you can offer to fix it so that the customer is not dissatisfied any more. There are many examples where customers have changed their negative reviews into positive ones because the company acted on the reviews. So, when your business receives a negative review, you don’t run away from it, you act on it and make things right.
Why reviews matter so much?
There have always been situations where people are not satisfied with what they get. But before, they didn’t have a voice that could be heard. With the advent of social media, the business listing websites, the ecommerce website, etc. people now know that their voices will be heard. They feel empowered to share their reviews on public platforms.
On the other hand, reviews help us shape our purchase decisions. Do you invest in any product without checking at least a couple of reviews? This is especially true if you are purchasing items or services online. You can even rate an Uber ride that you take. In many cases, local businesses are reviewed and the reviews can really affect how the business performs. If people are happy with what they get, they will not shy away from boasting it. The opposite is also true.
Believe it or not, there are many customers who think that reviews are living documents. These customers would leave a review right after purchasing the product or service. Then they will use it for some time to leave another review. In case they write a negative review, the company should act on it. And when the company resolves the issue, the customers change their review once again. So, it is a process that they follow. This, again, not only helps the future customers but also makes the customers feel empowered.
How to change the reviews?
Now that we are done with all the necessary information, let us find out the ways that you can change negative reviews into positive ones.
- Responding to the customers:
The first thing that you can do is to respond to the reviews that your customers have written. Respond especially when a customer leaves a negative review. Firstly, responding to the negative reviews shows that you are open to criticism from your customers. And it shows that you are willing to improve yourself. Apart from that, responding to the negative reviews also let other customers see that you take your unsatisfied customers seriously. This gesture can immediately turn the negative reviews in your favor.
To make sure that you are not leaving any negative reviews unattended, you should keep a track on the social media platforms. Also, make sure to spend some time in forums where your business name might come up even if you are not listed there. If you are responding to the reviews, don’t just ask the customers about the problem in the response. Rather, ask them to send you an email with all the details of the problems they are facing so that you can take action on that. Most of the time, customers are satisfied with proper and instant feedback. It makes them realize that they are heard.
- Rectify the faults and let people know that:
You may hire the best of employees in the world and may use the most modern technology in your company. You may still end up getting an error once in a while. And an error means getting a negative review from your customers. However, the most important fact is not having bad reviews but how you handle those. If you overreact to the negative reviews, you will never be able to rectify the mistakes that you’ve made.
We’ve seen companies that haven’t paid attention to the problems when those were minor. The companies tried to push the issues under the rugs and over the time ended up with problems that are of large scale. And if the problems become overwhelming, it may affect your company in such a bad way that it can even lead to the termination of your company. I’m sure that you don’t want to be in that place. So, to start with, it is always a good idea to own your mistakes and work on them. The moment you acknowledge that you have made a mistake, you should start working on rectifying the issue. The process of acknowledging and rectifying should be made public. You might be thinking that hiding the whole situation is best for your business.
On the contrary, it can actually establish your company as a trusted brand in front of your customers and target audience. Suppose you have received negative reviews in different platforms from your blog posts to your business social media pages. You have to take a similar approach to let people know that you have fixed the issues. Take the medium that you think will work best for you. If you think that a TV commercial is all you need, go ahead. If you think that your social media business page is the right platform, feel free to make use of that.
No matter which platform you choose, make sure that you be honest. Let your target audience know that you have made a mistake. Don’t hide anything. And then show them how you owned the mistake and corrected the same and how you are working towards the progression of the company. While you let your customers know this, you should focus more on removing any errors before the product or service is used by your customers. Make sure that you don’t receive any negative feedback for the same mistake next time.
- Better customer service:
Many a time you will notice that all the negative reviews are not something serious. There are times when people leave a negative review when they don’t understand something. Suppose one of your customers has bought a product from your company. Now, he wants to return it. While the actual returning window is of two weeks of 14 days, the customer thought that he had a 30-day window to return the product. It is quite natural that the unsatisfied customer will leave a negative review.
It is a possibility especially if you have mentioned the returning time in your terms and conditions section. Most people don’t read the terms and conditions while making any purchase. There are two things that you can do in this case. The first thing is that you can make an exemption and make sure that the customer is able to return the product even after the return window is closed. The second and more important step that you should take is to mention the returning time period in bold letters in the pricing page. This is how, no one will ever miss it and even if someone does, you have a strong point to say that it was stated in the pricing page.
There are similar issues that can be resolved without making any sacrifices. You can train your employees to make sure that they segregate the negative reviews that can be resolved immediately and the ones that need special attention. The faster you are able to determine how to tackle the situation, the lesser negative reviews you will end up getting. Besides, after resolving the problems, you can actually ask the customers to revise their reviews. And trust me most customers are more forgiving than you think.
- Customers are not always right:
We know that the gospel of business is to believe the phrase that customers are always right. Sometimes it is not true and you admitting that will definitely help you. One of the examples that I mentioned before is when customers miss to notice the time period of returning any product and leave a bad review for that. This is definitely not entirely your fault. However, there are situations when customers write negative reviews as they are not able to understand how a product works. So, how can you make sure that this doesn’t happen to your business as well?
No matter if you are not responsible for the review; you can still turn the negative reviews into positive ones. Taking a look at such negative reviews will give you an idea about the types of mistakes that your customers are making that are resulting in those. Just like before, there are two things that you can do. The first thing is to let the customer know that he has made a mistake and point out what the mistake is. If the problem is resolved, you can ask the customer to revise the review.
In case you notice that one particular mistake is repeated by many of your customers, you can write a tutorial about the process. If you have a website, you can have a dedicated page for writing and publishing blog posts. The posts can be your medium through which you teach people how to use your product or service. There are many instances where customers have realized that they have made mistakes and they themselves have corrected the negative reviews that they have left.
Important points to remember:
When you are trying to turn a negative review into a positive one, there are multiple ways to do so. However, there are certain points that you should remember as well. Not obliging by these points can make it difficult for you to get positive reviews in the first place, let alone turn a negative one into positive review. Here are the points that you should consider:
- Do not DEMAND of an unsatisfied customer to change the rating and write a positive review. If you want to ask your customers to revise their rating, you must make sure that the customer is 100% satisfied with your solution. Only if the customer states that he is satisfied, you can request him to revise his review.
- Being proactive can indeed help you in turning the negative reviews into positive ones. How can you be proactive? Once you see the negative review, you can immediately contact the customer. Suppose you don’t have the contact information of the customer. You can leave a comment under the review section and ask the customer to send you an email. The more effort you will give to reach the root of the problem and solve it, the more you will be able to win the trust of the customers.
- Don’t pay attention to every negative review. I know it sounds contradictory to what we are trying to do here. But you will find that some of the negative reviews are not worth investing your time on. Don’t even try to remove these reviews. Having zero negative reviews can actually make people skeptic about your business and they may think that you are not legit. Having all positive reviews is too good to be true.
As you can see, you shouldn’t be intimidated by the negative reviews about your business. As long as you know how to tackle the issues, you shouldn’t be afraid that the negative reviews will affect your business. However, you have to make sure that you act on the problems that the customers are facing. Besides, you should also pay attention to not repeat the same mistakes again. Train your employees to find out the core of the problem and resolve it as fast as possible.
You must be compassionate towards your customers and try to understand why they have left negative reviews. Being proactive will not only help you to combat against the negative reviews but will also ensure that you get lesser number of the same. The best approach that you can take is to prepare your employees well so that they can identify the problems before your customers do. Also, strengthen your customer service section as good behavior and customer service can resolve more than half of the problems – instantly..