Did you know that 91% of consumers read reviews and comments? Or that 88% of consumers trust customer feedback as much as personal recommendations? For many, customer feedback is the number one factor in determining which business to visit.
Knowing these facts, it’s impossible to ignore that keeping a good online reputation is a must. Social media is an engagement tool that is incredibly useful to businesses, however it can also be stressful and scary. Knowing that at any time an angry customer could leave bad feedback leaves us on edge.
When the inevitable does happen, your initial reaction will probably be to hit the delete button, and while most comments can be deleted or hidden, reviews cannot. It’s important to know how to respond to negative comments and feedback in a way that ultimately benefits you and your business.
Here’s why you should stop deleting negative comments and turn them into opportunities instead.
Deleting Feedback Makes Customers Angrier
Deleting a negative comment just leads to an even angrier customer. They’re likely to leave another bad comment or take the conversation to another platform. They’re also likely to tell their friends and family about their experience with your company.
You don’t want the conversation to leave the page where you can control the discussion. This is your opportunity to clarify any false statements, recognize that your business made a mistake, and fix the issue. All of this can take place where other’s can see your great customer service and be impressed by it.
Turn People into Loyal Customers
A negative comment is a chance to gain a loyal customer. 95% of unhappy customers will return to your business if their issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. Offer to replace a broken item, provide a discount code to be used on their next purchase, or tell them their next meal at your restaurant is on the house. A small gesture on your end will be a big deal on theirs.
You’ll Appear Untrustworthy
Ever see a business with only positive comments and reviews? Looks suspicious, doesn’t it? While having only comments from happy customers on your page sounds good in theory, it’s actually damaging your reputation. 30% of consumers assume online reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews or comments at all. A business that appears to have nothing bad said about them raises red flags in people’s minds.
Take the Chance to Showcase Your Customer Service
When you respond to a negative review/comment with empathy and a solution to the problem, it shows that you care about your customers. The angry customer will (hopefully) be happy with your response, and potential customers will see your customer service in action. They’ll feel more confident making a purchase from you knowing that, if there’s an issue, it will be attended to.
Control the Rumors
It’s incredibly irritating and disheartening to be alerted that someone left a comment that’s full of false statements and mis-information. This is your opportunity to grab hold of the conversation and set the story straight. Begin your response by recognizing why the customer is upset. Then you can get to work explaining your business practices, why what they stated is wrong, and putting to rest any rumors before they spread.
Are there any cases where you should delete negative comments? Yes. If it’s spam, racist, inappropriate, derogatory or has potential legal implications, the comment should be removed. While reviews cannot be deleted, they can be flagged for these same reasons and the review platform will consider whether to remove the review on your behalf.
As the saying goes, you can run but you can’t hide. Rather than deleting negative comments, look at them as an opportunity to improve and provide great service to your customers. Over time, the benefits will begin to outweigh the negatives of a few bad comments.
Too busy building an awesome business to constantly monitor customer feedback? Talk to us today about our online reputation management services!