17 February 2020
How to deal with negative customer reviews
No one likes negative reviews, as we all aspire to perfection on every level of our business, and worry that a negative review would mean the illusion is shattered or it must be a direct weakness of the business. What if a negative review wasn’t purely a reflection of the business, but an opportunity to do better? What if by turning that negative review into a positive experience, that customer’s loyalty would be yours for the taking? It is said that customer loyalty does not exist anymore but that is only true when a customer feels like they have no alternative, when they don’t have a choice, because no one likes change.
Turning a no into a yes is no easy feat. Anyone who has worked in sales knows this well, however, so do customer service agents. As a customer yourself, you know what it is like to have a bad experience with a company. You’d probably either reach out to them and tell them so that they can fix it, or you take the hit and not bother. Now, you have made a decision to either have the issues sorted or just live with it, but if you contact the company and they have a good customer service team, the chances are you will either get a refund or they will try to fix the problem if they can. If they don’t have a good customer service team and did not offer any form of respite, then as a customer, you would feel obliged to inform those around you of your experience. And you would not be wrong to do so.
We learn from experience, but it does not always have to be from our own internal errors. Take a look at the experiences that you face every day while you are a customer and take those into account when approaching your customer service strategy. What could your company do to make the experience better for your own customers?
The speed of your response is crucial when managing a customer that had a negative experience. An angry customer does not want silence or avoidance; this can be inflammatory, rather than pacifying which should be your first line of support. Responding politely, listening and understanding the customer will help relax the situation, and the earlier in the process this is done, the better. Avoiding a customer or being afraid to respond can make the situation more infuriated than it needs to be. If the review was left online, respond to it swiftly, apologise for any inconvenience and provide an easy way for them to contact you to rectify the issue.
Get your data right the first time
While responding to messages across various platforms can be difficult, Click4Assistance has developed a seamless integration with social media accounts, like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, so your live chat and social media instant messages sync seamlessly to a desktop dashboard, to keep your information consistent regardless of which team member accesses it. Nothing is more frustrating for an already aggravated customer than having to repeat the situation to multiple people in the same department, or worse, finding out that their complaint had not been logged against their details for easy reference later on.
Ask them to update the review
One of the most important steps of turning a negative review into a positive one is often forgotten. After rectifying an issue, most customer service agents do not follow up with the customer to get them to update their review. This leaves a lasting impression on other customers who will see this in future. While the issue was rectified and the customer in question was happy with the outcome even though there was an issue, prospective customers don’t see that if the review isn’t updated. Don’t forget to ask your customers to update their review, and do not be afraid to explain why. Make sure this is a part of your customer service process so that your team will remember to follow up with customers.
Have the right comms-tech
Having the right communication technology is crucial to managing negative reviews. These are the customers that you want to hear from first, as they are likely to share their experience with others around them. But sometimes, an agent is not available immediately, or the customer may have tried contacting your business outside of normal hours. In a regular situation, a customer contacting your business outside of hours may not be a big deal and they could just leave a message and a member of your team would reach out to them as soon as they are next available to do so. But in more stressed situations, as with negative reviews and customers who want their experiences rectified, they want an immediate engagement. Put yourself in that customer’s shoes; they are likely to be frustrated and less patient than they would be if they had a positive experience so ideally, being there to respond would be perfect.
This is where Click4Assistance’s AI chatbot Artie can help your business. Artie does not sleep and can speak with an unlimited number of website users at a time. When that unhappy customer opens a live chat, Artie is right there to help guide them closer to a solution, even if your agents are not online. Having someone there, even if they are artificial intelligence, take the query and advise when someone would get back to them is much better than just facing a cold “we’re offline” form. This will greatly improve your customer service experience.
If you’re interested in deploying Click4Assistance, the UK’s premier GDPR compliant live chat software solution, to increase your business’ productivity for 2020, give us a call on 08451235871 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our experts will be with you right away. Not ready to reach out yet? Discover how it works, try a demo, or better yet, try Click4Assistance completely free for 21 days.