Customer Service Loving Their Haters: How to Respond to Negative Reviews Plus Examples

The major obsession of companies using social media in the past was to make every customer or visitor fall in love with their company or their products. Because of this, companies used to panic whenever they received any negative reviews on their social media pages and did not know how to respond to them. Some of these reviews were genuine, and some were fabricated by their competitors. It is easy to fake a review to malign a company's reputation, thanks to the anonymity provided by the Internet. People these days conveniently post a negative review without hesitation, remorse, and without even thinking how much damage a casual negative review can do to a company's position if a company does not know how to respond to a negative review.

Handling Negative Customer Reviews

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But eventually, the companies have come to understand that it is an impossible task to keep everyone happy, and that if they ever receive a negative review, it is not necessarily disastrous for their organization. Nowadays, companies know how to respond to a negative review, which has changed their approach towards them. Today, a company regards these "haters", whether genuine or fake, as a necessary evil who have to be dealt with appropriately.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Jay Baer, who is a content marketing expert and author of "Hug Your Haters: Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers", wrote in his book about how companies monitor social media to respond to customer complaints. This book tries to explain how these negative reviews can be a good thing for the company. Although it is specially written for B2C companies, many B2B companies can pick up tips from his book. It offers good suggestions for those who struggle with customer service, or if dealing with haters makes them uncomfortable, or for small-scale companies who have no experience with how to respond to negative reviews.

How You Can Monitor Social Media Mentions of Your Brand Online

Monitoring social media mentions about your brand has become easier than before, thanks to the new tools developed for this purpose. There are multiple benefits of monitoring what people say about your brand. Monitoring your company's reviews can help you keep a close watch on the online conversations about your organization so that you can employ the best customer service practices for your company. With the help of monitoring tools, you can manage and respond to all of your business reviews and keep things organized. In case you are receiving reviews from multiple branches of your business, you can view, analyze and keep records of all of them in one place.

Best Review Monitoring Tools

By using online review monitoring tools, an organization can identify and respond to potential problems effectively, which increases customer confidence in the company and develops trust in potential customers as they can analyze your company's responsiveness and access the content of your response. These tools provide real-time feedback apart from monitoring reviews to help you get a clear idea of your business performance to serve your customers better and keep your employees motivated:

  1. EmbedReviews
  2. NiceJob
  3. Trustpilot

Best Free Review Monitoring Tool

  • Google Alerts

What are Some Good Negative Review Response Examples

Here are a few review response examples that can give you an idea on how to respond to negative feedback:

  1. How to respond to a negative review for bad customer service

    We can include failing to follow up with a client for whatever reason, as a typical example of bad customer service complaints. Customer service is an important pillar in the growth of an organization, and bad customer service complaints can drive away potential customers from the company.

    Keeping track of every interaction with a client is difficult unless you have an excellent CRM that can prompt you to follow up every time.

    In case you forget to follow up with any of your clients and end up receiving a negative comment, or you do not know how to respond to a negative comment in this situation, then you should learn from the proprietor of A & J Fencing, Justin. If you look at his reply in his situation, he has personalized his response by referring to the reviewer by his name. Next, he acknowledged his mistake and requested another opportunity to win the reviewer back.

    Customer Serivce Negative Review Good Response 1

    This response gave the audience an impression that the company sincerely wants to rectify its mistakes and learn from them.

  2. Ignoring phone call complaints review response example

    Making the customer wait by ignoring their calls is the most common negative review. If you make a customer wait for a long duration of time, they may prefer to never return to your company again and submit a negative review.

    See the following for how to respond to a bad review in this case:

    Customer Serivce Negative Review Good Response 2

    The owner of 1st Response Pest Control does an excellent job by trying to explain what happened and how he went wrong, instead of losing his patience.

    It may appear to the readers as though John is trying to make excuses, but you should consider that he owns his mistake and takes accountability for whatever happened. This conversation is also a good review response example where the owner is empathetic in the conversation.

  3. How to respond to a bad review related to pricing issues

    You can learn from this example that shows how to respond to a critical review related to pricing:

    Customer Serivce Negative Review Good Response 3

    This conversation with the customer shows he was happy with the service but was not happy with the pricing. 

    The reply from the business owner shows their willingness to resolve his customer's complaint using a different channel of communication. If the client approaches them and the dispute is resolved there, it can be better for the owner if nobody will see the conversation if it takes a bad turn.

  4. Response to negative comments for unacceptable service

    This conversation clearly shows that the client is very disappointed with the service provided by the company employee, as they failed to deliver on their promise. So what is a good way to respond to negative feedback in this situation?

    Customer Serivce Negative Review Good Response 4

    In this instance, Chelsea does a good job by apologizing for the reviewer's unpleasant experience and tries to reassure the client that this is not what their company refers to as wonderful service. She offers to resolve the issue by taking the reviewer to other channels of conversations away from the public eye and empathizing with the customer.

  5. Negative review response example that show a worker's mistake

    Sometimes a company can get a critical review because of the misconduct of its employees, and this conversation shows you how to respond to negative review examples like these:

    Customer Serivce Negative Review Good Response 5

    If you face this situation, you can learn from Ryan's reaction, which was empathetic, fair and respectful. Even though the incident might not have happened while the employee was working a job for the company, Ryan took full responsibility for his employee's actions and tried to explain that those actions did not represent the company's values.

These real-life examples of responses to negative reviews can help you learn how to respond respectfully to customers if any such regrettable incident happens with your company. A timely response to negative comments is necessary, as it helps to avoid further complications of matters.

Effects of Poor Customer Service on a Company's Reputation

Poor customer service can bring a bad name to your business and if you do not provide any response to negative comments, its effects can be long-term. Here, we will examine a few bad customer service consequences so that you can change your casual attitude towards a critical review of your company:

  1. Damage to the company's reputation
  2. Non-converting leads
  3. The company might lose its best employees
  4. Loss of present and future customers
  5. Huge drop in profits

10 Tips for the Best Way to Respond to a Negative Review Online

If you own a brand with social media presence, then receiving negative comments and criticism would be a norm for your business. Having negative feedback can have a tremendous impact on the credibility of your organization.

  1. Do not ignore critical comments

    Ignoring a problem only makes it worse, which is the same with negative comments. Not attending to a negative review can make a customer feel angry and invaluable, which might become another reason to hate your brand. Response to negative comments is important for brand development even if it is positive, negative, or neutral.

  2. Do not hesitate to apologize sincerely

    The first step to settle a dispute is to never disagree with the customer. In case of a media error, you should be prepared to issue a public apology before any further damage is done. They prefer to use words like "We apologize for the regrettable incident" followed by other very sincere statements. You should always train your employees with the saying that "The customer is always correct" to avoid prolonging the situation.

  3. Avoid making false promises

    Don't hurry to make false promises to calm the situation. Don't offer to return the money or replace the products but save this option for the last. As a first option, ask them to call a service representative to determine who is at fault.

  4. Always be polite

    In any situation, be patient, calm, and polite. Do not swear at the customer, and handle the situation gracefully, even if the person is abusive or personal.

  5. Try to take the discussion out of the spotlight

    Remember, you have multiple clients to deal with and limited time, but it is the opposite of your customers who can comment on all of your replies. So try to take the friction out of social media so that others cannot see the conversation, like asking a customer to email or call support. 

  6. Personalize conversations

    When you are replying to their message, show empathy and try to personalize your message, which is much better than sending an automated reply.

  7. Timely response

    Time is a valuable asset when responding to negativity. Try to reply instantly to avoid the situation snowballing out of proportion or making a customer feel ignored.

  8. Try to explain

    Try to explain yourself and convey your message correctly by explaining the exact problem and how you intend to resolve it. 

  9. Learn from previous mistakes

    Any company, no matter how famous, makes mistakes, but the key to success is not repeating them. You can learn by analyzing previous negative comments, which can help you improve and avoid future mistakes.

  10. Focus on generating positive comments

    Negative feedback is an unavoidable and damaging part of any business. You can reduce its impact by increasing the ratio of positive reviews when compared to negative reviews.

Conclusion for How to Respond to Negative Feedback

Negative feedback can be managed with no stress if dealt with properly and timely. The secret that many companies use to minimize the financial losses from a critical review is to communicate with frustrated customers patiently. Monitoring online conversations concerning your company helps you act quickly, thus minimizing the damage caused because of a negative review posted by your customer.