How to Use Negative Reviews
Negative reviews are a part of the retail experience. There is no way around them and no way to wholly avoid them while maintaining complete integrity. As an E-Commerce retailer, it’s important to know that though negative reviews may pop up from time to time, there are ways to positively deal with them.
Let’s go over some of the things that you can do when a negative review appears on your website, Facebook account, Google page, or elsewhere.
Review your product description and details
When you receive a negative review, the first thing you should do is inspect it to check for accuracy. You want to be sure that what the customer is saying is in fact true, and that you’re not simply dealing with the result of inaccurate expectations or miscommunication.
Look at your product description and any other information listed on your product page. Is all of the descriptive text correct? Are the measurements, materials, and textures listed accurate? If so, you may be dealing with a faulty item or a one-off situation. That’s good. It shows that there isn’t a larger issue at play.
If you find something in your description or product details that is incorrect, you can use this opportunity to fix it! This negative review is beneficial in the long run.
After you’ve done all of this, it’s time for the second step… responding to negative reviews.
Respond to all negative reviews
With each negative review, a response from your business isn’t just welcomed, it’s necessary. By publicly responding to all negative reviews, you show future shoppers that you care about your customers.
This attention to detail and willingness to mend poor experiences proves that you are dedicated to ensuring the best customer service possible. It shows that your company cares.
When you believe in your business and the quality of your products, you do what you can to make certain that each customer experience is a positive one. This displays a high level of integrity and helps shoppers build trust in your brand.
Address all areas of the customer review when responding, and if possible, offer a solution to remedy the situation. For example, if the customer received a broken or damaged item at the fault of your business, offer to send a replacement at no charge.
If a customer received an item late or past the guaranteed delivery date, offer a coupon for free expedited shipping on a future order. In any case, do what you can to make the experience a great one.
Lastly, respond to reviews in a timely manner so as to not leave your customers hanging. You don’t want to make it look like you’re avoiding them or that you don’t care.
Notice positives in the situation
Though negative reviews tend to sting, there is some good that can come out of them. Negative reviews show you how you can improve!
If quality control issues are at play, you can ramp up your product review process that takes place prior to shipping to ensure that customers do not receive faulty or damaged items.
If customer service is an issue, locate the communication gap. Work with your team (if applicable) to improve the system and ensure that no areas are left untouched.
Whatever may be the subject of the negative review, use it as an opportunity to make your business an even greater one. Look within your company to see how you can improve your systems and prevent similar issues from reoccurring.
See the value in negative reviews
It may seem surprising, but customers actually value negative reviews because they generally give an inside look at how customers’ experiences truly were.
For example, if a customer is shopping online for a new mattress, they will want to read about other customers’ experiences. Though a mattress may be listed as “medium firm,” they will want to know how it feels to customers. Some reviews may say “this mattress feels medium firm as described,” but you may have a couple that note the mattress feels a bit softer than expected. After comparing options, customers will know that this particular mattress may come with a bit of extra fluff. If they know that is to be expected, they won’t feel disappointed if they find it to be true.
With negative reviews, customers have a more realistic look at your product. They would rather see 3.7 stars with 1,000 reviews than 5 stars with only 25 reviews! The rating holds more value that way.
Additionally, when customers see your responses to the poor reviews, it makes them feel even better. A couple of so-so reviews won’t’ deter customers if they’re assured that the company fixes all issues.
Do not remove or hide negative reviews
No matter what you do, you must refrain from removing or hiding negative reviews. It’s much better to publicly respond to negative comments than it is to completely remove them. Why? Removing them shows dishonesty and lack of integrity.
By keep the comments and publicly responding, you show that you work with customers to remedy any negative experiences. This holds a much higher value to shoppers.
As an E-Commerce retailer, reviews are exceptionally important. Customers cannot see, feel, or get an in-person view of items before purchasing, so they must rely on product descriptions and the reviews of other shoppers.
Though this could make negative reviews seem all the more detrimental, that isn’t quite the case. When you turn negative reviews into positive, helpful experiences, you are able to make the best of the circumstance all while showing that you have top notch customer support.
The next time you receive a negative review, use the above suggestions to make the situation a positive one.
P.S. If you’re sitting there thinking “Well, this is helpful and all, but how do I even GET reviews in the first place,” don’t worry. Here’s a blog post highlighting the ways in which you can start to acquire customer reviews.
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