How to Respond to Negative Reviews: DOs and DON’Ts
Andrew Jeffers | April 23, 2018
Have you ever received a negative review on your Facebook business page?
What was your first reaction?
You didn't want to answer it, right? I bet you even wanted to delete it… ASAP.
Responding to negative comments can be tricky, but it’s very important to do it right.
Today, I’ll share with you some “DO’s” and “DON'Ts” on how to respond to negative reviews on your social media channels. You’ll discover why it’s best to always respond to your audience, no matter if their comment was positive or negative.
To ignore or to respond? That is the question
Why is it so important to take your time and reply to online reviews?
For some of you, it might seem like a time-consuming activity, especially if you’re a business owner and you’re doing it all: business management, content production and social media management.
Replying to reviews on social media or other platform shows your customers they’re heard. Spending some time to listen to your audience’s concerns and suggestions is also a great way to humanise your brand.
If your audience sees you’re constantly there, replying to comments, it will encourage other customers to engage with your brand. The great thing about it is, having many reviews increases the trustworthiness of your brand. In other words, it promotes further engagement.
Responding to positive feedbacks gives you the chance to turn satisfied customers into promoters of your brand. Ignoring negative reviews can make the situation even worse.
A customer comes to your business with a complaint or an encouraging thought. Would you keep quiet? You’d probably say something to him, right? You’d probably thank him for caring and trying to solve the problem.
The same goes online. Behind every feedback, there’s an actual human being who chose to express either a need or a suggestion. Don’t ignore your tribe, listen and take action!
You might also be interested in: How to Use Facebook Messenger for Social Customer Service
How to respond to negative reviews...
Unfortunately, there’s no tried-and-true method to avoid receiving negative comments.
Haters gonna hate... that’s sort of an unwritten rule. Yes, it’s discouraging to receive a negative comment but if you don’t want it haunting your business, you should respond to it immediately.
The best piece of advice I can give you when responding to negative feedback is to infuse your reply with your brand’s personality.
Engage with the negative feedback. Keep in mind that you’re not only replying to the person who wrote the review, but you’re also replying to all the other people who will see that review.
Look at it as an opportunity for you to showcase your brand’s identity and personality.
Respond quickly. Postponing won’t help the situation… the negative comment won’t delete itself if you wait, but other people will see that you didn’t answer. And that’s worse.
Try to understand the concerns of your unhappy customer. Put yourself in their shoes, it always works like magic.
Be kind, polite and maybe funny (if appropriate to your particular situation). Find a unique way to showcase your brand’s identity with your answer.
Keep your answer short and meaningful. Lengthy comments won’t improve your situation or impress your customer. When in doubt, be short and concise.
Prevent! Facebook allows you to ban offensive words. Did you know that? All you have to do is:
go to Settings > Page Moderation > Edit
list there the words your business’ page visitors aren’t allowed to use
Tip: Don’t let those negative comments discourage you. Take them as constructive criticism. Keep in mind that people who give you feedback may actually care about your brand and want to help you improve it.
Reply with a general statement. Try to make it personal.
Delete the review. When that person will notice their review is missing it can bring even more hate on your brand. Nowadays, all it takes is a screenshot to ruin your brand’s reputation. So, don’t delete the comment, but respond to it instead.
Ban or block that person. My advice is to resort to this method only after you’ve tried everything else. Take it as an extreme measure or as your last option.
Mention the name of your brand. A good rule of thumb is this: mention your brand’s name in positive reviews, but avoid it when it comes to negative reviews. Here’s why: when you respond to reviews, your search engine visibility increases and you don’t want your negative feedback showcased first. So, keep this in mind!
Remember: When you reply to negative feedback, you don’t just reply to one person but to everyone who comes across that review.
You might also be interested in: 8 Social Media Posts For Businesses You Should Share Right Now
Learn how to respond to negative reviews on your website
I agree, dealing with negative reviews can be overwhelming and stressful. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you. I can teach you how to respond to negative reviews in an efficient way. I believe these tricky situations are actually great opportunities to show your audience who your brand really is. Let’s get in touch today!