eCommerce Made Easy

How to Deal with Negative Reviews as an Online Business Owner

March 05, 2024 Carrie Saunders Episode 44
eCommerce Made Easy
How to Deal with Negative Reviews as an Online Business Owner
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Ever faced the sting of a negative review on your e-commerce platform? Negative reviews are inevitable for even the most successful companies. In this episode, we’ll explore how online business owners can effectively handle negative reviews and turn them into positive outcomes.

From replying in a timely manner to approaching unhappy customers with empathy, we will show you how to reply to negative reviews in a professional manner that showcases your commitment to consumer satisfaction. Tune in, apply these insights, and watch as those stars climb – because every review, good or bad, is a golden opportunity to elevate your e-commerce game.

Find out more information about the Business Visibility Made Easy Course at www.ecommercemadeeasypodcast.com/bvme

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Carrie:

You read something a customer posted and your heart sinks. It's a negative review, even though you put your heart and soul into your business. So now, what Negative reviews can be a heart breaking? They can evoke feelings of anger, rejection and hurt, as well as many others. Unfortunately, no matter how much you put your heart and soul into your business, you cannot make everyone happy. You can, however, turn a negative review into a positive for your business. In this episode, we'll explore how online business owners can effectively handle negative reviews and turn them into positive outcomes.

Carrie:

Welcome to the eCommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, Saunders. When we started this business, all I had was a couch, a laptop and a nine month old my main goal To help others. Now, with over 20 years in the eCommerce building industry and even more than that in web development, I have seen a lot. I love breaking down the hard tech and to easily understandable bits to help others be successful in their online business. Whether you're a seasoned eCommerce veteran or just starting out, you've come to the right place. So sit back, relax and let's dive into the world of eCommerce together.

Carrie:

Welcome back to this week's episode of the eCommerce Made Easy podcast. Today, we're talking about a hard subject negative business reviews. It's, unfortunately, an inevitable part of doing business, no matter how hard you try to please and be the ideal company for your customers. However, most of the time, negative reviews can be turned into a positive and a great booster for your business if you approach it correctly. So first let's take an example of a review of a company. This is a review I found on a company's website that I actually purchased from, and I found the company's response to this negative review to be very positive and uplifting and honestly, I felt like it was a really great response. I'm going to paraphrase, though, the consumers negative review because I feel like a lot of the details in it, for one, don't help us analyze the situation and two, to just kind of try to keep everything a little bit anonymous here. So hopefully you still get the gist of it, but I so I do want to paraphrase it some, so let me do that right now for you. So when I read what I paraphrase from this review.

Carrie:

So the person said I purchased two pairs of your fitness shoes and received those last Friday. On Sunday, I went to the gym to work out. I did an hour on the treadmill and did weights Well. The other important thing to know is I have a specific health condition and, yes, I was in pain with my legs and feet as I did have blisters on both legs. Now I like the concept and design of the shoes. Mind you, I will say that for my health condition in general, to for those that have it, basically to really think and do your research on these shoes before purchasing.

Carrie:

And then the consumer basically had a few more concerns and details that they added to their review and, like I said, I didn't feel like all the details were necessary for analyzing it. So let's listen to the merchants response. This is a little bit paraphrased to try to keep them on the anonymous part of this, but I wanted to leave in enough of it so you can get a gist and a good feeling for how the company responded. So here's what they said in in my own words Hello, sorry to hear about your experience with our shoes. As we can't speak to whether our shoes will be beneficial or detrimental to someone with the health issue you have, we can say that wearing them at the gym for one hour and then lifting weights might have been a bit, might been moving a bit quickly. In regards to transitioning time from regular shoes or sneakers to our shoes, we really recommend starting very slow your first few times. A use basically just wearing them about in the house of the yard for a few minutes at the beginning is ideal to someone transitioning from sneakers to our shoes. This is somewhat of a guess as to why you're experiencing foot pain, but we've seen several cases that speak directly to this type of issue. That being said, we have processed your refund for both orders and hope you do, in fact, give us another shot, but take our advice with starting much slower the next time around. We hope this helps. Thank you very much for your feedback and take care.

Carrie:

Okay, so that was basically the gist of the company's response to this negative review. So what did the company do right when they responded to this review? So, first off, they were quick to respond, so that's very important to do. Staying on top of your consumer's feedback is a very, very key and, secondly, they were empathetic to the person's situation. You can tell that they understood it and they tried to offer solutions. If you just turn a noise, that's a cat in the office doing something silly. Okay, let's get back to what we were talking about Might as well. Leave that blooper in. It's kind of funny, all right. So secondly, they were empathetic to the person's situation and they offered solutions if the person decided to try the shoes again without having a ton of accusation in their tone of not following the recommendations of these shoes. So I felt like they worded it really well. That was very kind and, like I said, not accusatory to the consumer and kind of blaming the consumer. They took the feedback very graciously and they're also very kind in their tone and gave a refund for their shoes and wished the person well. So what this does is balance the negative review with a positive from the company. This helps other consumers reading the review to judge for themselves if they would side with a consumer or the company in this situation. It also shows how the company was very kind and responsive to the concerns of the consumer, building reputation and trust.

Carrie:

I know whenever I read negative reviews on websites which I do look at reviews every single time I want to shop for something new that I've never tried before. I look at the positive reviews and I look at the negative reviews. I look at them to see how constructive the consumer was in their review. I also look for any responses from that manufacturer or the person you know running the company even if it's like a services to all look at their responses from the owner to and I want to make sure that I get a good vibe from the consumer as to or sorry, to the company. I'm going to get a good vibe with the company from responses to reviews. It really is very telling when you see nice, calm, objective responses from companies and this what this example we did in this podcast episode with the shoe company is very I feel like a very good example of that.

Carrie:

It also negative reviews also are going to help you, the company, evaluate yourself. So, for example, in the shoe company, maybe the company didn't provide recommended transitions to their special shoes, or maybe they did, but it's not as obvious. It's easy to get lost in the packaging and it wasn't something that was easy to find for the consumer. So this could help them understand that they need to improve their communication with how to transition to their special shoes. So you can really use these negative reviews, too to have a different view of your product and your services. So you can really see. You know, am I missing something? Is there a gap here that I can fix or that I can fill, it can really open your eyes, especially if you look at it objectively.

Carrie:

Now I will tell you that it's very natural as a business owner to read that Nagi review and get really self-defensive and really internalize the criticisms. One of the first things you need to do before you actually respond to a negative review that's not always out there in documentation, but it's kind of something we all probably know, but sometimes we need to hear again is we need to take a step back until we can be objective and really read this negative review from a place of neutrality so that we're not being biased as being the business owner and feeling offended or things like that. So we need to really step back and become before we respond to any negative reviews, even if you know we aren't like angry but maybe we're hurt. You know, maybe the review struck a chord with us and made us feel hurt, like we talked about in the beginning. It totally can evoke feelings of anger, hurt, judgment, you know all those things and that's very natural to do. But we need to step back and get out of that place of emotion before we do these responses and that's what I feel like this company really did when they responded to this review. There was no perception from my perspective and hopefully you see a similar thing is I didn't get a perspective that they were hurt and that they were on the defense when they wrote the response. Their response to me came from the heart, it came from trying to be hopeful and it just was very objective, in my opinion, is the way I felt, like I read it.

Carrie:

So let's summarize up, though what can we do when we receive a negative review? So first, like I said, let's be objective and really take a break, if you need to, and remove yourself from the situation as far as like when you first read the review. Sometimes take a day or two. You don't want to take too long, because one of the top things is we want to respond in a timely manner. But that timely manner doesn't mean to be within the hour necessarily, because many times that's when our emotions are still high, when we've read something that to us, might be hurtful. So take some time and then but we do respond in a timely manner Be very professional and empathetic.

Carrie:

So I feel like this company did a very good job of being professional and empathetic, also acknowledge and address specific concerns that are in the review. You don't want the consumer to feel ignored, so you want to make sure you're addressing their concerns and you want to address it not in a defensive way but in more of an objective way and in more of a helpful way of trying to help them either maybe understand how to use the product differently or, you know, just really in a way that's not, you know, offensive in your being Defensive, in your being defensive, basically, and then also look at the review with a neutral heart, like we've talked about, to see if you really do need to improve something. Sometimes these are little clues to what you might need to fix. I found in over 20 years of business that you're going to get either review some people who absolutely love your work or love your products, and then you're going to get reviews from people who hate it. So you're not going to generally get the spectrum in the middle, like those people that love it, but maybe you think it's good but not great. You're mostly going to get the outliers, the ones that really love it or the ones that really hate it. So you really got to take that in mind when you do read your reviews, especially the negative reviews. You're just they're going to be more harsh, I feel like, in general, just because that's just the two types of reviews you generally find, I feel like, for small businesses especially.

Carrie:

So keep that in mind when you're reading your reviews and make sure you go through these steps that we talked about.

Carrie:

First off, make sure you have a calm heart, respond in a timely manner, be professional and empathetic and acknowledge and address specific concerns and look at the review with a neutral heart to see if you do need to improve something. Maybe there's a communication issue or an expectation issue, like we talk about a lot in customer trust, the customer trust, a series that we've done Okay. So I want to know have you ever gotten a negative review? How did you deal with that? Drop us an email at podcast at bcsengineeringcom and let us know your story. So that's it for this week's episode. If you're listening on YouTube, be sure to hit that subscribe button, and if you're listening on the podcast, be sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on their new releases as they come out each week. As always, we appreciate your feedback and ideas, and drop us an email to podcast at bcsengineeringcom, as we would love to hear from you, and we will see you next week.

Turning Negative Reviews Into Positive Outcomes
Responding to Negative Reviews Effectively
Handling Negative Reviews Professionally