Negative reviews these days are inevitable, and potential customers are increasingly relying on reviews to help them make decisions about which companies to hire and what products to buy.
Getting a negative review is not something to be scared of. Look at negative reviews as an opportunity to present your side of a situation to an audience; demonstrate that you care about your customers; showcase your company’s commitment to quality and service; and humanize your brand.
So how DO you respond to a negative review in a way that helps your business?
Responding to negative reviews
How you go about responding to negative reviews is important, as your response will likely be seen by both current and potential customers. Therefore, it’s important to put the time and effort into crafting a response that best represents your company’s values and approach to service.
Note: When you respond to a review on your Best Pick Reports profile, we will not directly notify the reviewer. Your response will be displayed alongside the review for visitors to see.
4 simple rules for responding to negative reviews
- Be nice. Whether the reviewer was angry or you disagree with the description of what happened, a public review is not an appropriate place to post an argumentative response. It is okay to describe your side of a situation, but make sure your response is diplomatic.
- Be truthful. Your company is bound to make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes make their way into reviews. Own up to your mistakes and apologize for the experience where it’s appropriate.
- Keep it short. In general, keep your response under three sentences. You don’t want to provoke an angry customer to post other bad reviews on social networks, and you also don’t want to take up valuable space on your profile page.
- Don’t ignore it. Whatever the negative review was about, it’s never a good idea to simply ignore it.
Review: “My experience was negative. They were really messy, and I would never use them again. They got here late but put in their paperwork that they got here on time. I took pictures of the mess they made so they could see what it looked like, but he said he didn’t need for me to send him the pictures. It was horrible.”
Response: “We are so sorry to hear about your experience. This behavior is not typical of our team, and we will be communicating to our crews to ensure situations like yours do not continue to happen.”
Review: “It was all negative. They replaced my roof and did a terrible job. They had to come back out, tear the whole roof, and redo it. They admitted it was a terrible job. I will never recommend them, and the roof still looks horrible.”
Response: “Feedback like yours highlights the fact that no company is perfect. We try to uphold a high standard of quality, and your experience should not have been the exception. We are deeply sorry for the experience you had.“
Responding to neutral reviews
Neutral reviews are those that aren’t quite positive or negative. They often have positive ratings but can include details about something that was done wrong or could have gone better. For instance, some customers will comment about companies that showed up late to an appointment or that didn’t fully clean up when the job was finished.
Neutral reviews are another great opportunity to share your company’s commitment to service and stance on quality.
Review: “The men who came in were professional and quick. They were actually a little late. I was scheduled for a certain time, but their main office changed the time. I’d have to give them a lower grade because of the time issue.”
Response: “Thank you for sharing your feedback. We strive to be on time for every appointment, and we make every effort to communicate when our technicians are running behind or when a conflict arises. Thank you for being a valued customer.”
Review: “There was a problem with the ordering and a miscommunication. I never really received a call from everyone explaining that, or apologizing, and it pushed our job back by like two to three weeks. It caused some other problems in our house because we had to rearrange things. It was OK in the end.”
Response: “We appreciate that you shared this information with us. We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and that it was not addressed properly with you. It’s important for our customers to leave 100% satisfied with their job, and we know that communication is part of that experience.”
Responding to positive reviews
It’s certainly not necessary to respond to all of the positive reviews your company gets, but it’s a great idea to respond to some of them.
Review: “Probably the best experience I’ve ever had with a contractor. All of his guys were very polite. They were neat; they cleaned up after themselves. They were courteous. It was just a great experience.”
Response: “We’re so happy to hear about your experience. Very proud of our technicians!”
Review: “They moved my furniture. They didn’t break anything, and they packaged everything expertly. They were very careful and pleasant to work with. I’ve used them about three different times in the last six years.”
Response: “Thank you for continuing to choose us for your moves. We’re always happy to make your moving experience as pleasant as possible!”