How to Deal with Negative Customer Reviews on Your Ecommerce Store
  • By: Ricky Hayes September 22, 2020

How to Deal with Negative Customer Reviews on Your Ecommerce Store

When you own a business, you’re bound to get negative reviews at one time. There’s no question about that. That’s because mistakes do happen – humans run businesses, after all, and are bound to make mistakes.

However, getting a negative review shouldn’t matter much, but rather how you deal with negative eCommerce customer reviews as it can determine how prospects regard you. In fact, according to eMarketer, customers tend to trust companies that respond to negative customer comments.

To help you learn how to handle negative eCommerce customer reviews, and get return customers or attract more shoppers, here is how to go about it:

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Respond To The Negative Customer Reviews Quickly

To avoid sending out the wrong message to the customer who wrote the review and other prospects. That you don’t care! A quick response to bad reviews shows that you value your customers’ opinion and their happiness.

In order for you to quickly see the message and respond to it, you need to monitor reviews left by customers. The easiest way to do this is by using online review software like Revenuejump and Gatherup to do so. Or task your customer service team to actively check reviews.

Acknowledge The Mistake And Apologize

Acknowledge The Mistake And Apologize

Mere responding without tack will not work. The first thing you need to do in your response is to thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention (not all customers do). Then, acknowledge your mistake and offer a sincere apology.

It doesn’t matter whether you feel that the comment is unfair or harsh. Just keep in mind that the customer is always right as you deal with negative customer reviews. So, apologize for whatever went wrong in the customer’s shopping experience.

The apology will not only appease the reviewer but also showcase to prospects that you take customer service provision seriously.

Be Polite And Professional

It’s easy to get defensive about what the customer has said or feel personally attacked, but just remember it isn’t personal. The reviewer is lashing out because they’re angry or feeling disappointed. So always respond in a polite and professional manner to avoid escalating the situation.

If you feel hurt by what the reviewer said, then first take a moment to cool down before you respond. Yes, you have to respond fast, but that doesn’t mean so fast that you blunder out of being too emotional.

Keep It Short And Specific

Just address whatever the customer is upset about without getting into irrelevant details that can further annoy the reviewer. Moreover, since most online readers are in too much of a hurry to read long responses, they will skip them.  

This is something that can hurt your conversion rate.  As they will not get your side of the story and, thus, go away with a negative view about your eCommerce store or brand. At the same time, longer responses tend to appear defensive.

Personalize The Response

Make sure you mention the customer’s name in the reply and write them a customized message instead of an automated general message. Customers want to be addressed individually to feel heard.  

Also, include your name and title in the response so that the customer knows who they’re communicating with so as to humanize the interaction.  

Taking into consideration all that has been mentioned above, here is an example of a response to an angry customer who received a damaged product:

Reach Out To The Reviewer Offline

After you’ve sent out the response online and shown everyone that you’re taking all measures to resolve the matter, contact the customer offline. Check their purchase contacts and call or email them to further find out what happened.

Ask the customer how exactly they would want you to resolve the issue so that you can successfully remedy the situation.

Resolve The Issues The Customer Raised

With the acquired knowledge of what the client wants you to do, go ahead and promptly fix the problem. If it means sending out a new product or refunding the customer’s money, then so be it.

You can even take it a step further and offer a coupon or promo code on the customer’s next purchase. Or send the customer a replacement product along with a bonus item. Doing all these can help calm down the customer, get them to forgive you, and, hopefully, sway them to shop again on your eCommerce store.

Politely Ask The Customer To Revise Their Bad Review

Before you go ahead to ask, first follow up to ensure that the customer is happy with your resolution. It’s only after they’ve reassured you that they are happy that you can now politely request them to update their negative review.  

By revising their negative review to reflect how you went above and beyond to fix the problem, you’ll be able to earn the trust of potential customers. Shoppers who will read the updated review will have confidence that you’ll be able to amicably resolve any issues that will arise while they deal with you.

However, not all customers will agree to do so. If the customer is unwilling to revise their bad comment, you should alternatively write a follow-up message to your online apology. It includes how you resolved the problem and how you hope to do more business with the shopper.

Encourage More Customers To Leave Reviews To Combat The Negative Ones

According to BrightLocal, 91% of shoppers are likely to buy from a business with positive reviews. So, you need to ensure that the first few reviews on your site are positive by always encouraging all your customers to leave reviews on your site.  You can use messages like “rate this product,” or “let other customers know what you think of this product before they buy” to nudge them.

With that, you’ll be able to offset the negative ones left on your eCommerce store. In that, by the time prospects get to read the negative comments, they would’ve already been positively influenced by the great reviews.

Delete Fake Negative Reviews From Trolls

It’s ill-advised to delete negative comments from customers, and you should never do it. This is because having only positive reviews will make your site seem unauthentic (shoppers know that you can’t always have happy customers). A mixture of both positive and negative reviews can assure customers that your reviews are genuine and, in turn, trust your business.

However, if you discover that the negative comments left on your site are fake and have been sent by trolls, you should delete them. Because if you try to engage with trolls, you’ll escalate issues. Some tell-tale signs of spam comments are that they’re full of profanity and hate speech.

Review The Comment With Your Team And Fix The Entire Process

Bring the negative review to the attention of your entire team. Discuss it and develop ways to fix the entire process that led to the mess so that it doesn’t happen again. For instance, if it was a wrong delivery that led to a bad situation, then you need to put in place a cross-checking system to curb mistakes.

Or, if it was bad customer service, you should train your customer service team on how to treat and respond to clients. Also, use chatbots and chat boxes on your eCommerce store to quicken response time to online questions. Debutify has chat boxes that help you provide real-time feedback to customers. Click here to download Debutify, the highest converting free Shopify theme.

Look At The Positives Of Negative Reviews

Look At The Positives Of Negative Reviews

Instead of panicking and worrying about the negative review situation, look at it as an opportunity for you to market your eCommerce store. Bad reviews give you an opportunity to showcase your excellent customer service and how well you’re devoted to making all your customers happy.

Also, a client who openly makes a complaint gives you a chance to fix their problem and probably gets you to retain them as customers. On the other hand, one who refrains from complaining online will not only shun your business but also bad mouth you to as many people as they can. This can damage your reputation!

Moreover, some negative comments aren’t so damaging, but rather informative to other customers. Like let’s say a shopper bought a dress in her usual size that turned out to be small, and she complained about it on your site.

But instead of stopping there, she goes ahead to advise other customers to buy a slightly bigger dress size. Customers will use this information while shopping for dresses on your eCommerce store, and hence, you’ll avoid future negative comments.

In Conclusion

The way you handle negative eCommerce customer reviews can help you turn them into positives. Use the tips mentioned above to deal with them excellently, and you’ll be able to draw more buyers to your store instead of chasing them away. 

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