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How To Handle Negative User Reviews In Your Webshop

Henning Frettem
Published by
Henning Frettem
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How To Handle Negative User Reviews In Your Webshop

Henning Frettem
Published by
Henning Frettem

Unhappy customers usually do not expect much more than being seen and heard. Displaying user reviews from your customers in your online shop, both good and bad, shows that you put customers first. Negative user reviews, when handled properly, build credibility and trust between you and the customer who most probably will return to your shop later if their problem has been taken seriously. 95% of dissatisfied customers will shop in your web store again if you handle the situation correctly.

No matter how successful your business is, there will always be some unhappy customers. No one can escape assessment and among the positive feedback, some negative will undoubtedly pop up. The fear of negative reviews makes many resign from displaying reviews on their websites – but who benefits from it?

Online shoppers are skeptical of exclusively positive reviews and as much as 84% actively search for negative reviews before they make a purchase. By catering to negative user reviews online your company may make its name in customer service.

In order to transform a negative review into a positive experience, you should respond fast and objectively. These steps can simplify and streamline the way your business handles negative reviews:

How to handle negative customer reviews: Do not panic!

Resist the desire to remove negative customer reviews. Take a step back and consider the situation as a whole. Neither does the customer want to be dissatisfied nor is it your intention to have dissatisfied customers. So what is the key? Answering the customer and finding a solution!

It is natural to have some dissatisfied customers, and by publishing negative user reviews you show that you have nothing to hide.

1. Respond quickly and objectively where the customer is

It’s important to respond to the customers where they are. When future customers are reading a negative user review on your website they’d rather see that you have acknowledged the problem of the unhappy shopper and were proactive in looking for a solution.

Potential customers want to see that you care enough to respond to criticism and that you are putting customers first.

“Hi (customer’s name). Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback – it means a lot to us! Our goal is to be the best possible at customer service and we are sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience.”

2. Move the discussion offline

It is important to avoid long and defensive responses. Instead, assure the customer of your highest level of customer service and emphasize that it is rare for your customers to have negative shopping experiences. Avoid long discussions on the internet by inviting the customer to further dialogue via email or phone at the very start. Acknowledge the situation and move the conversation away from public channels like comment section or discussion threads.

“We would like to hear more about your experience with us and look for a solution. Please give us a call at XX XX XX XX or send an email to xx-xx-xx@business.com whenever convenient. We are hoping to hear from you soon!”

3. Follow up with the customer afterward

Get in touch with the customer after the situation has been solved and make sure they are happy. How was their customer service experience? Give them a chance to write a new user review and in this way turn a negative review into a positive experience for your customer, which may even end up with another positive review on your website!

What does proper handling of negative reviews mean for your business?

There is a lot to gain from negative user reviews. The more you know about your products, the better.

  1. User reviews from your customers give you a better understanding of what you’re doing right – and what you’re doing wrong.
  2. Customer reviews give a unique insight into your customers’ shopping experience from start to finish.
  3. What you learn from customer feedback gives you a chance to correct misleading product information and prevent negative reviews in the first place.
  4. More accurate product information results in fewer returns from the customers who experienced the product in a different way than they expected.  

By responding to unhappy customers fast and objectively you show engagement in customer service and your products or services will be bought again or recommended to others.  

Proper handling of negative reviews builds trust between you and customers and results in increased sales!

Henning Frettem
CEO & Founder