It’s never a pleasant experience to receive negative comments and reviews about your business. You work hard to deliver great products and services, so it’s hard not to take bad feedback personally. However, everyone receives negative feedback from time to time and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing anything wrong.
What’s important is how you respond to negative comments. This will make your brand stand out in a positive way and keep people coming back. Below are five tips on how to handle criticism and complaints from customers.
1. Respond promptly
There’s nothing worse than letting a complaint sit there. Not only will the customer have time to grow angrier but also other people will think you’re ignoring the issue. This will certainly make people hesitant to do business with you. Even if you don’t have a solution yet, let the customer know that you’ve received their complaint and are working on it.
2. Acknowledge their frustration
Most of the time when customers are angry, they are looking for a solution to their problem. This could be a newly shipped product, a discount or a refund. Typically, they aren’t out to get your business. So, put yourself in their shoes and acknowledge their feelings. Let them know that you understand their frustrations and value their feedback.
3. Offer a solution
Since most customer issues will relate to certain problems, you should have an established process for dealing with them. For example, if a customer receives a damaged product, you can offer to replace the item free of charge or refund their purchase. By presenting the customer with their options, they’ll feel heard and respected.
4. Respond publicly and privately
When initially responding to the customer, do so publicly. Apologize to the customer and ask them to contact you directly. You can also add in a positive tidbit to reassure other customers. As an example, “I’m sorry that our product did not work out for you! We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact us directly for your refund.” After this contact, you should take the conversation privately.
5. Ask for the review to be changed or removed
If you are able to work something out with your customer, and they respond positively, you can ask them to update or remove the negative review. Positive ratings are important for your business. If you ask, the customer may be happy to remove the review or write an update. Usually, customers will do this when a company addresses the issue right away.
Remember, every business receives negative feedback from time to time. Rather than looking at it as an insult, use these experiences to improve your business and show customers how you handle problems. In the end, negative complaints aren’t a big deal if you handle them right.