ShopVenture Blog - How to Respond to Bad Reviews

How to Respond to Bad Reviews

05 Jul 2016

When you run an online shop, you understand how awesome online reviews can be! But no matter how amazing your products are, it's tough to please every buyer, and a few bad reviews can be expected.

When this happens, fight the urge to pretend the review doesn’t exist, or that it won’t affect your business. It does, and it will. Studies show that 40 percent of consumers will form an opinion of a business after reading as few as one to three online reviews.

The good news is that you can take control of these reviews. Your response and follow-up service can take the most dissatisfied shopper and turn them into your most loyal customer.

Don't stick your head in the sand

Don’t let bad reviews sit for too long without a response. The longer you let a review remain unaddressed, the longer the person who posted it is going to continue thinking negatively about your shop (come on, you know you would too).

On top of this, every day that goes by without a response gives potential customers more of a chance to see the bad review, reducing the odds that they’ll shop on your website.

Catching bad online reviews quickly does not require you to scour the internet daily for any mention of your shop. Instead, you can easily monitor your Internet presence by setting up Google AlertsShopVenture also sends you a friendly email every time you receive a review, so you can respond the same day - the same hour even! This can reduce the damage any bad reviews do to your business.


Is it too late now to say, "sorry"?

Your first reaction to a bad review may be to get angry or offended. After all, it’s hard not to be emotional about your business! But if you don’t reign in that attitude, you’ll end up writing a defensive response, which will do more damage to your business than the bad review.

If you were in the wrong: If the review has merit and your business truly made a mistake, it should be easy to write a sincere apology. A simple apology shows that you care about your customers’ experience with your online store.

If you're not convinced: Even if you don't think your business is to blame (we've all had that impossible-to-please customer), you should still write a brief apology to the reviewer, simply because it will help defuse the situation. You can then go on to explain the facts, making sure not to get defensive or accusatory. If the reviewer is combative or makes outrageous claims, the best thing you can do is remain professional in your reply, and rest assured that readers will be more impressed by this than by a defensive response or no response at all.


Actions speak louder than words

You say customer service is a priority, well here's your chance! If you're able to fix the problem, do it, publicly. You'll end up with a happy customer, and potential buyers will see your commitment to service.

If you don’t feel comfortable discussing the solutions publicly, you can invite the customer to email or call you. Regardless of the solution you come up with, make it clear that you will be taking steps to ensure the problem won’t happen again.


To Sum it Up

No one enjoys getting negative feedback on their business, but at least now you know how to handle it. And the silver lining is that those reviews make it easy for you to improve your online shop so it’s even better than before. 

Don't forget, it’s not the review that matters the most. It’s how you respond to it!