Navigating Negative Reviews And Harassment
Nobody likes negative reviews, but let’s face it —they’re unavoidable. Customers expect top-notch convenience, superior value, and excellent customer service 100% of the time. Unreasonable? Probably, but that’s the cost of doing business in today’s day and age. Negative reviews and harassment are expected when you own a business or provide a service, but how far is too far.
Addressing Negative Reviews
Venting via negative reviews can legitimize the idea that their voice matters. But there’s a difference between someone venting (fixable) and someone harassing you (treatable) by writing a negative review. To find the difference, between negative reviews and harassment: inspect the legitimacy of the negative review, diagnose the problem, decide if the problem can be fixed, and finally, determine what steps to take (if a resolution is necessary).
Is The Review Legitimate?
Is the negative review fake? It’s not reliable if it’s not real, and the reviewer is simply harassing you. Many markets nowadays are highly competitive, and a rival company might be looking to get a leg up on the competition. On the other hand, maybe someone is simply trying to solicit free products from you by leaving a negative review. If it’s blatantly fake, there may be no need to prescribe a solution. Negative reviews that are in all caps, are poorly thought out, and contain many spelling mistakes, are often fake or over-exaggerated. Potential customers will likely see through these when judging negative reviews.
Diagnosing The Issue
Let’s say you believe the negative review is real, and that the negative reviewer has a legitimate gripe. Okay, no big deal — you can’t expect to please every customer. However, how you choose to proceed can have a big impact on the future of your business. It’s important to pare down the review in detail; where did you fail the customer? Was it within your control, or was it an error by the shipment carrier? Did you sell them a defective item? Did they receive subpar service? Once you gather the nitty gritty details, you need to ask yourself one more question about the negative review.
Can The Problem Be Solved?
Maybe your customer received a broken item. Depending on the cost it may be in your best interest to offer a free exchange, or ship them a new one at no cost. Maybe you can reach out to them and personally and apologize. Sometimes, the reviewer understands that unfortunate thing happen and were just wanting to feel heard. On the other end of the spectrum, it’s possible the negative reviewer feels so slighted that they’ll try to sabotage your business. If that’s the case, the problem is unfixable and becomes damage control. The reviewer, eventually will run out of steam and find another person/business to be outraged at. Navigating Negative Reviews And Harassment is a full-time job for most business.
Be Polite In Spite Of Anything
You should parse helpful information from your legitimate reviews, fix the negative reviews, and ignore harassment. Word of mouth is vital to your business’ success, and it’s important not to collect jaded customers who tell others about their negative review. If you can put out the fire, then do it! But you’re unable to appease the unreasonable customer, then leave it be — you can’t win ‘em all. Just make sure your response to their negative review is delicately polite, and make a good faith effort to resolve their problem. Other customers will take notice, and that’s all that matters.