As much as we’d all love to have every single review come from a happy customer, the reality is that won’t happen. With the increased difficulties of running a business in the social distancing era, many businesses are also finding it harder to manage customer expectations. So instead of focusing on the impossible, ask yourself: How can you turn a negative review into a positive one on Google?
First, you have to focus on their motive, understand why your customer is frustrated, and work towards a level-headed solution.
Many business owners don’t realize the great opportunity in receiving a negative review -- and that’s because unfavorable Google reviews are never fun to read. And let's face it, criticism can be tough to hear, especially when it's about something you’ve worked so hard to create.
However, there's a silver lining. When a customer leaves you negative feedback, you can win them back and even win over new potential customers in the process -- if you respond the right way.
Let’s look at several helpful tips you can use to win back customers who leave you a bad review on Google.
Tips for Responding to Customers Who Leave You a Bad Review on Google
Stay on Top of Your Reviews and Respond Quickly
The only thing worse than a negative review is a negative review that’s gone unanswered. Ignoring and disregarding the negative review is never the solution -- especially if the issue is something that could be resolved.
When you ignore an unhappy customer, it looks like your business is shying away and not taking responsibility. In other words, it makes it seem like you don’t care about the customer or their experience with your business.
But if you do respond, and do so quickly, you still have a chance to win them back. Among consumers that read reviews, 97 percent read businesses’ responses to reviews.On top of that, 45 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews and 53 percent of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. In other words, your response matters.
Be Apologetic and Make it Personal
When you receive a negative review, write a sincere, non-confrontational reply. This demonstrates that you've not only read the review but understood the issue in question and their frustration -- even if you believe the review is unwarranted. Remember, the customer is always right.
Try to be specific in your response and acknowledge the customer's concerns; show sympathy that they had a bad experience. Sincerely apologize for the negative experience and offer to make things right.
Avoid generic language that makes your business seem cold or indifferent. For example, you don’t want to respond with empty phrases like:
We're sorry you had a bad experience with us or we were upset to hear you were unhappy with our services.
Instead, use empathy in your response and show sincerity. You can do this by addressing the customer by their name and demonstrate that you care about their experience and want to resolve the issue. For example, you can say something along the times of:
We're so sorry to hear about your negative experience with us! We understand it’s frustrating to expect one thing and receive another. Please provide your contact information or send us a direct message so that we discuss a solution.
Take Responsibility for the Complaint
In total, 90 percent of users need less than 10 reviews to form an opinion about a business. Meaning, if the consumer happens to see a negative review on Google, you might be in trouble -- if that’s all they see.
However, if you respond to the complaint appropriately and try to fix the situation, you could win over the unhappy customer along with onlookers and turn them into future customers.
The first step is understanding, accepting, and owning the reality of your situation. If you want to convert a negative review into a positive one, you have to own the problem and take responsibility. Even if you don’t think your business was at fault, your customer disagrees. Try your best to rectify the situation.
There are instances where the review is unfair (using profanities, swearing, very irate, etc.) or just fake. If that’s the case, you are able to flag the review to Google, follow the process and eventually get the review removed -- but make sure you do it the right way.
Offer Some Kind of Compensation for the Negative Experience
In most cases, you can explain the issue the customer complained about or apologize and rectify the situation. Offering a replacement product or service (for free), coupons, a refund, or even a chance to speak to management about how to make the business better in the future.
Of course, there will be instances when you have to accept that not everyone will love your business as much as you do -- and that’s okay. There are still plenty of customers out there who will praise your business and leave glowing reviews.
But if you handle the situation properly, customers are forgiving and will give you another chance. So, when they visit your business again and have a positive experience, you can ask them to change their negative review and leave a glowing one in its place.
Improve Your Business Practices
When your customers are voicing complaints about your business, it is your responsibility to listen and implement changes to improve their experience -- especially if it's coming from multiple sources. Take their feedback seriously.
A great way to win back customers is by demonstrating that you are listening to them, taking action, and making changes to your business to improve their experience.
Leverage Bad Reviews on Google to Win Back Customers
Customers write reviews for a reason. Understanding the motivation behind a customer's bad review on Google is essential. Once you understand their motive, you can start working on turning their negative review into a positive one -- and gaining another loyal and lifelong customer.
Now that you know what you have to do to ameliorate the situation with an unhappy customer, all that’s left is choosing the right review software for your business like GoSite’s Review tool.