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By Selina Bieber, Regional Director, GoDaddy

As lockdown eases and the economy reopens more sectors, so will consumer expectations for quality customer service. It’s best to stay on top of what others are saying about your business by tracking reviews. Your customers have a voice these days on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, HelloPeter.comTripAdvisor, and Google—and they’re not shy to use it. It’s great when you get a five-star rating and a shining review, but dealing with negative feedback is far more challenging.

But as damaging and discouraging as it might feel to receive critical reviews, they can help you to make sure you’re creating the best possible experience for your customers. And if you handle them correctly, you can turn negative reviews into a win for your business. With the right mindset and the right approach, you can get great insights and interaction from reviews that can help to further build your business’s reputation.

So, what are some ways on how you can handle angry or disappointed reviews of your business, or your products and services? Here are a few practical ideas:

Keep track of reviews

You should monitor the social media platforms you use, your Google My Business (GMB) listing, and any websites where you have company listings with opportunities for new customer reviews and comments. A tool like GoDaddy Websites+Marketing makes it easy to manage your GMB business listings and reviews from the same tool you use to manage your website. You can get mobile notifications via the GMB app or set up e-mail notifications to keep track of when a new review is posted for your business.

Try to respond to comments and reviews as quickly as possible

When customers leave a review or comment, they are generally looking for a response and they expect it to be quick. You should aim to respond to any negative reviews as quickly as you can—ideally on the same day it was received. Ignoring a negative review won’t make it go away, and the customer’s anger will fester the longer he or she waits for a response.

What’s more, a no response to a customer complaint may put off a prospective customer looking at web reviews, more than the negative review itself.  Your response should be succinct, sincere and specific—if you follow these three S’s, you can often defuse the client’s negative feelings.

Here are some tips for writing in response to a negative review:

  • Get more information if necessary. You may need to make a quick phone call or send an e-mail to request the full details of the incident or experience being reported.
  • Make a public response. For example: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. As per our telephonic conversation, we will send you a replacement for the broken widget by courier.”
  • Keep it simple. Offer an apology from the heart as necessary.
  • Don’t focus on excuses. Offer a solution.
  • Be polite, even if you feel the customer is wrong. Thank the customer for their feedback and move on.
  • Be personal. Use the customer’s name and write a response that shows you understand the details of the incident.

Respond to positive reviews too

Positive reviews are an opportunity to say thank you and build relationships with the customers who love your business. Engaging with them shows that you value their feedback. It can also be helpful to encourage your customers and social media followers to write reviews for your business, based on their experience with your business. Their testimonials can ultimately help you to attract more customers. Cross-promote your positive reviews on your social media channels to help build trust across all your social media channels and your website and with your customers.

Remain committed to good customer experience

Don’t leave your customers hanging. When someone posts a review—good or bad— keep the engagement going with a response. A thoughtful reply shows them and anyone else reading the interaction that you’re listening and that you are passionate about your customer service.  Authentic, personalised responses to your business’s online reviews and comments, can go a long way toward building relationships and deepening customer loyalty.