Knowledge Base: My business got a negative review, what should I do?
Last Updated Jul. 10, 2013
First, try to relax. You can't be all things to all people, negative reviews happen to the best of companies. It's not the end of the world, and the way you handle the situation will have a big influence over how it impacts your reputation in the long run.
Our dispute process allows you an opportunity to communicate privately with the customer before his or her review shows up on your profile. And if you are able to resolve the complaint to the customer's satisfaction, the review won't be posted.
You should try to make it up to the customer if you can, but know your limits and don't drive yourself into the ground over a mistake you can't fix. In the latter case, we recommend you accept the review rather than making the customer wait out the dispute time limit, which could be frustrating if no progress is being made.
Before you respond, read the review carefully. Put yourself in the customer's shoes: How would you feel, and what would it take to change your opinion?
Here are just a few scenarios to consider:
Is there still time to fix the problem?
So the customer thinks all is lost, but isn't aware your company could have fixed things right up had they only asked. This can be an excellent opportunity to wow the customer with the speed and quality of your service. If you get things patched up, your heroic effort will do all the talking.
Even if you can't exactly "heroically" resolve the issue, at least doing what you can and making up for the difference (either with pure charm and understanding or complimentary service) would give you a good shot at swaying the customer's opinion back to favorable.
Has your product or service improved since the last time this customer purchased?
Maybe you should prove it. Admit that things haven't gone so well in the past, and invite the customer to see for him or herself that you've taken the necessary steps to improve. You could extend a discount, free trial, or free upgrade as applicable to give the customer a new perspective.
Did the customer misunderstand something about your product or service?
While it might be tempting to blame the customer in this situation, the root cause may be a communication problem on your part. Carefully explain what should have happened and, if there's still time to fix the issue, walk the customer through the steps. Be sure to apologize for the confusion and ask for feedback on how you could have made things more clear.
Even if the biggest customer base in your industry are experts at using a product or service like yours, you might find out from talking to your unhappy customers that there's an emerging market of less experienced users who are under served by your current offerings.
If you are confident that serving a specific set of customers is most efficient for your business, you might take away some points on how to better target your marketing, or team up with a business that targets the opposite.
Is the customer right and you know it?
Maintaining a great company is hard work. If you fall behind sometimes, that's alright; you can recover from it eventually. Make the most out of the situation by apologizing for the shortcomings and soliciting feedback from the customer. You may not be able to resolve the complaint now, but get back in touch when you've put customers' feedback to good use; you may just win back an old customer or two.
More things to do:
- If you have a customer database, look up the reviewer's record so you can understand the whole situation and background leading up to the complaint. If there were no earlier signs of trouble, this may be a telling indicator that you could be more proactive about reaching out to your customers.
- Actually act on customer feedback. Doing better for all your customers in the future is perhaps the best way to make the most out of a bad experience.
- If a dispute goes unresolved, consider following up in a public reply apologizing that you couldn't resolve the complaint and outlining how you will improve.
- Remember to breath. It's worth saying again: This isn't the end of the world. Shoppers expect to see a few negative reviews, and if you handle it well that will give prospective buyers even more peace of mind.
- In the event that the review is dishonest, abusive, spam, or fraudulent, please flag it for auditing by our staff.