Responding to Bad Customer Reviews
How to Grow Your Auction Business Through Managing Your Reviews – Both Good & Bad
Running a business is hard work and running an auction business can be even harder work. Auction companies are always moving… new auctions are always happening, products need to be constantly inventoried and recorded, and shipping needs to happen quickly and efficiently. That’s not all, don’t even get us started on having to create or maintain an online presence! As you know, good customer reviews (and responding to bad customer reviews) are an important part of any business’s online presence. Reviews showcase a small portion of who businesses are, but if you have any experience with them, you’ll know the difficulty of keeping up with them.
Not only that, but now there are multiple platforms for any company to receive reviews on! Google, Facebook, and your personal website are all places where you might receive a review or feedback from your customers and clients. Obviously, the hope and goal for most businesses, is that you receive reviews that are all 100% beaming with positivity about your business and the process that a buyer or seller went through while working with your auction company – but we also know that this isn’t a realistic expectation. There will always be someone who has something negative to say about their experience working with you – so what do you do? How do you approach these bad reviews, and how do you encourage good reviews to be left in order to help your business grow and thrive.
Before we get started with tips on responding to bad customer reviews and comments, let’s take the time to fully understand why a good review is so important and what it can do for you and your business.
What Can Good Reviews Do for You
Did you know that good reviews can send your website to a new level? I mean we all know that good reviews are desirable and beneficial, but how do they specifically positively affect your website and your business?
Good Reviews Build Your Credibility
A good review can go a long way when it comes to your business’s credibility. Customers and clients love to see other people’s experience before they go ahead and make the investment into your company. And it makes sense why! A review is almost a small outlook into what you can expect from working with a company – so as you continue to have positive reviews written about your company, your credibility among potential clients or users will continue to grow!
Good Reviews Boost Your SEO
Did you know that good reviews can boost your SEO? Many people don’t! SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing your page rankings on search engines such as Google in order to bring more traffic and potential customers to your website. SEO is an in-depth concept and has many different pillars that contribute to a good website visibility and ranking, and reviews are one of them. Specifically speaking about the Google search engine, reviews can actually boost your rankings. Google wants to recommend (or rank) established and good businesses to their users which is where reviews come into place. Google sees and considers the reviews that have been left on your business page. When you have good, positive reviews, Google observes that and will be more likely to recommend your business or services to someone who is looking for them.
Good Reviews Focus on the Things Your Business is Doing Right
This seems obvious right? Good reviews focus on the things your business is doing right, otherwise known as your business strengths. Knowing your business strengths gives you the ability to focus in on those strengths while advertising your business going forward. For example, maybe you consistently get good reviews and feedback regarding your customer service or speedy shipping process – if so, utilize that feedback and push forward in your efforts to focus on those positive things that people are noticing about your business.
How to Respond to Less Than Positive Reviews
Obviously, no one wants to deal with or see negative reviews on their website, but unfortunately it does happen, even to the best of companies. Negative reviews could be a result of a misstep by your business, but it’s also possible that they may have just been left by someone who got caught on the wrong day at the wrong time. But regardless of how or the reason why the reviews got left, responding to bad customer reviews should be a part of your business strategy. There still has to be some sort of response taken by the owner…even if that “response” is silence or no response at all (which we don’t recommend by the way). One of the worst things you can do when you receive a bad review is to not respond at all. This portrays on part of your business that you don’t care too much if someone has a bad or poor experience working with your business. When really the opposite needs to be portrayed. You want your current and prospective clients or customers to know that you care about their experience working with your business and you care about righting any sort of wrong that may have happened. Although there is no fool proof way to get someone who has left a bad review to adjust it, there are three main steps to take to work towards reconciling a bad review and maybe even getting someone to change or edit their review into a more positive light.
1) Acknowledge the Review and what the customer is saying
This is the most important thing to do when starting to respond to a negative review. Most customers want to be heard which is why they have left a review in the first place. So, be sure to start off your response by acknowledging what your customer is saying. This can manifest in various ways, but be sure that your customer feels heard by your response.
2) Admit fault (as needed) but do not deny fault
This is a big one, and can be hard for many businesses, especially if they are NOT the ones explicitly at fault in a bad review situation. Maybe it was lack of communication on both ends, but regardless of what the case is, admit fault as needed. If you truly are not at fault in any sort of way try your best to again acknowledge the issue and apologize for what your bad review author had to deal with, regardless of who is at fault. Whatever you do, do not deny fault or assign fault to the customer.
3) Discuss what you’re doing to make sure that the same mistake isn’t made again
This is also an important part of responding to a negative review. A business can listen and admit fault all day long, but if there are no changes happening or no effort to right a wrong, then those words stand empty, and most people can see that. After a negative review is left, discuss it with your team and try to find ways to right the wrong as well as improve your process internally as needed in order to ensure that no one has the same issue again.
Let’s look at an example of a shipping error that was made and an unsatisfied customer, named John, leaves a review saying that they called multiple times to try and see the status of their items but were never gotten back to – eventually the item arrived but it came a week late. Here’s an example of a good and bad way to respond.
“Hello John, we sent out your item right away, but we don’t know what happened after UPS picked it up. Sorry your item was late.”
“Hello John, thanks for taking the time to leave us some feedback on our shipping process and your experience. I am so sorry that you experienced poor communication on our end as well as an item that arrived a week late. We do have record that our shipping team sent out your item the day after the auction ended, but that doesn’t explain why our team didn’t reach back out to you to update you on the status of your items. We are scheduling a team meeting this week to talk about ways to improve our process as well as make sure that this doesn’t happen again. We would love to make this situation right in any way that we can, please reach out to us at (800-8000) so that we can talk more about your experience as well as what we can do to make this situation right.”
As you can see, there is quite a big difference in the two responses. In the second, “good” response, the review author was acknowledged, the issue was acknowledged, and there were intentional steps made towards righting the wrong – even if the majority of fault lays on UPS. Following that response, if the customer does reach out, follow the same three steps, listen to them, acknowledge the issue, and work out a way that would be suitable to both of you that would at least work towards righting that wrong.
Bad reviews can be hard to swallow and generally they are never easy to address because it involves admitting that there are flaws within your business, but they can also be a useful tool to better your process both internally and externally. Try to think of negative reviews as constructive criticism and use them as a way to continue to make your business better for the future – and remember… always respond to an unsatisfied customer.
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