Coping with Negative Feedback Online

The Christmas shopping season may be a distant memory now, but it’s after-effects are still being keenly felt. From Black Friday to New Year and beyond, retailers are in for an intense and financially crucial time.

Under the increased strain, retailers are bound to make mistakes, but the season is stressful for shoppers who have to balance increased purchasing for presents with their own work deadlines. If transactions do not run smoothly over the high-pressure festive period, then problems can quickly escalate and complaints can come flooding in.

61% of people say they always check online reviews before making a purchase online, so a negative review can be a big worry for retailers. Of course, the best way to deal with a bad review is to avoid getting one in the first place, but that’s not always possible.

Research has found that the most common cause of negative reviews is bad customer service, with 65 % of people saying they’ll leave a negative review if they don’t feel they’ve had a good customer service experience. Other causes for complaint include damaged goods, prompting 62% to leave a bad review, while late delivery prompts 53% to talk about their experience online.

The vast majority, 84 per cent, said they would use a retailer again if the retailer responded to a negative review addressing their concerns and listed the top ways retailers could do this. 70 per cent said retailers could win them back with an offer of a refund, discount or freebie, 55 per cent would be happy with an apology, while a sizeable 46 per cent simply want the retailer to respond to their review.

Here are a few ways which can help you deal with negative comments:

Don’t cover up mistakes
Nothing leaves a bad taste or grudge like a cover up and customers are very quick to smell a rat. It’s important to own up to and be positive about mistakes when they’ve been made. Being open and honest comes across very well, and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat shows you’re a determined business.

Respect criticism and handle it well
It can be difficult to read criticism of your brand, product or service online, but it’s important to understand that criticism has its place and to take it in your stride. Use it as an opportunity to show your responsiveness and commitment to customer service.

Mistakes will happen however if you deal with them in a correct and professional manor you can always win your customers back by showing them you can offer them the service they expect.

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