It’s only human to slip up. But for today’s businesses, slip-ups – and even simple misunderstandings – can have a lasting effect if customers leave negative online reviews. Clearly, easy access to sharing and reading customer experiences is a double-edged sword for e-commerce business owners the moment a bad comment gets into the mix.
If your e-commerce business receives a negative review, here are 4 ways you can recover from the setback and move your business forward.
- Don’t take it personally. Remember, you are a separate entity from your shop, even if you’ve thrown all of your time and energy into it. Also keep in mind that your e-commerce store isn’t the first to get a negative review, and it won’t be the last. This perspective will help you get over the shock and disappointment, and help you to move on to the next tips.
- Connect with the customer. While it may feel as if you’re entering enemy territory, being proactive about getting in touch will help you and the customer come to terms with the issue and work on a solution. Remember, shoppers leave negative reviews for many reasons; they may have a legitimate issue with your product, but there may also be other factors influencing their decision to publicly denounce your company or your merchandise. Be open, apologetic, receptive and sympathetic, and express your dedication to making things right.
- Sort out the root of the problem. A calm and productive phone or email conversation should point you toward exactly what you need to do to make the situation right, both now and going forward. If a customer is truly upset, he or she may have trouble verbalizing the hoped-for outcome, so have a few alternatives ready to suggest, such as a refund or replacement. If your store policies include strict windows for returns, this may be a time to loosen those guidelines.
- Carefully craft your response and solution. If the review site allows you to respond, resist the urge to correct the customer, and don’t get defensive. Consumers want to feel validated, and they want simple solutions to their issues. Rather than address the grievances point by point, simply and sincerely offer an apology, and an immediate refund, replacement or future discount. Tell the shopper that you look forward to changing his or her opinion of you, and be sure to follow up a week or two later. It’s possible the reviewer will be appeased enough to redact or revise the review; if not, you can use the lessons of the experience to avoid similar reviews from other customers.
The Bottom Line
Don’t let negative reviews derail your e-commerce store’s progress. Swiftly and effectively getting to the bottom of the issue and making it right with the shopper can not only negate the bad feedback, but win you a return customer.