How to deal with negative feedback?

You can’t please everybody all the time.

No matter how many 5 star reviews you get, you will eventually get the dreaded 1 star.

You’re not alone. It happens to the best of us. Even at Cartkit, a multi-channel marketing solution provider, out of the 11457 reviews, less than 95 shops, or less than 1% have marked them 1 star for all four their apps

But, why is responding to negative feedbacks so important? Consider the following:

  • 94% of consumers say that bad reviews can persuade them to stop the purchase
  • 53% of customers expect the business to respond to bad reviews no later than a week
  • 45% of consumers say they’re willing to visit businesses that respond to negative feedback quickly

Less-than-glowing feedback is a fact of life, but it can be a bummer

Don’t take it personally, it’s probably not. We know when you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into your business, someone giving you one or two stars or negative comments, you feel like an attack. Unless the person is actually attacking you for something like the way you talk or look, it’s not about you. Your business is not you, and you are not your business.

Feedback is a valuable asset

When a customer is legitimately upset with the quality of your customer service or the product, it is so important to consider and address the feedback. Honest customer reviews stand out a mile and are worth their weight in gold.

Less than one-quarter of your dissatisfied customers will bring up complaints. The rest will quietly take their business elsewhere without a word. 

Randy Pausch said “critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care”. If the person didn’t care, would they even have provided the feedback? Probably not. 

Additionally, a customer can see your business in a completely unbiased light because they’re not immersed in your business on a daily basis. This makes their feedback a constructive and valuable tool to improve your product and practices. For this reason, you should encourage feedback from your customers.

Encourage Customer Feedback

Online shoppers usually need an average of 40 online reviews before trusting a business’s rating as accurate. 66% of eCommerce shoppers shared that they’re more likely to trust a brand with many reviews. 

If your store is on Shopify, you can use an app like Loox to showcase reviews on your website to encourage other shoppers to do the same.

Customer Feedback Surveys are another easy method of obtaining feedbacks. Simply ask your customers to fill out an online form after purchase and then you go through the results. Remember to keep these short and to the point, as customers can quickly lose interest.

According to FluidSurveys, an email survey typically has a 24.8% answer rate. You can customize your order delivery emails to include a Google Forms link from within Shopify. Here’s how. 

Not all Feedback is Created Equal

Not all feedback is genuine, we’ll agree. It does happen where someone leaves a 1-star review and is not even your customer. While using review apps that trigger after a purchase prevents this from happening on your website, it doesn’t prevent unfair reviews on social platforms.

If this happens on your Facebook or Instagram, you can delete the comment or report their review as an “Unfair Recommendation.”

However, there is no guarantee that Facebook will agree and they don’t give a text box so you can explain that the “reviewer” isn’t an actual customer. This is for good reason because if it is too easy to remove a negative review on-page, anyone would do it even if they really provided terrible products or services.

Either Way, Respond Professionally

The most important thing is you can’t let it get you down. One review is not your business be-all-end-all. The key here is responding professionally to reviews, good and bad. To respond professionally, ensure the following: 

  1. You don’t rush to react. Think about your reply and assume the customer was just trying to help and provide you some of that feedback gold. Thank them for their feedback, apologize for the issue, and address their concerns politely. 
  2. You’re asking for more information if necessary. Offer your customer service email or a private message to resolve the situation and gather more data. If you had a snarky agent responding to customer emails or a defective batch of product, you should know about that. Strive to understand the feedback so you can action it. 
  3. Don’t try to defend yourself in your response. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and try to find out why they feel the way they do. 
  4. Reiterate their concerns, and confirm this with them to ensure you are both on the same page.
  5. Keep it short and sweet. No one wants to read a response novel. If it will require more discussion, try to steer the conversation offline. 

You can try something like this:

An example of addressing the negative feedback

Why it works?

The response started with “Thank you” and importantly, it addressed the reviewer. The assistant manager was specific about the customer’s experience, and he provided information on how the hotel planned to solve certain issues and maintain its usual standards.

By following these guidelines, you can recover from the poor review more quickly so your positive reviews and professionalism can really shine. 

Also, let’s be honest.

Some Negative Feedback makes your Brand look More Authentic

Customers rarely read individual reviews or only negative ones. They look at the rating and the number of people that have left a review. A 4.5-star establishment with hundreds of reviews is more powerful than a 5-star establishment with only 10 reviews, after all.

A little criticism goes a long way. It takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review. Make the most of your product and customer service offerings and apply constructive feedback that is gifted to you where possible. 

Aim to outweigh negative feedback with positive feedback rather than eliminating all negative ones, you will create a more authentic and honest brand. 

When you have a sea of 5 stars, it actually makes your business look MORE legitimate to have that random low review. People don’t trust perfect scores, it seems fake. So our advice is to take the feedback in stride and remember the words of Taylor Swift:

“The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

I shake it off, I shake it off”

About the author:
Rosie Marcotte is the Content Strategy Lead at CartKit. She has a B.A. in Journalism from Cambrian College and over 7 years of experience creating and curating content for the web and print. Rosie also has certifications in Business Writing, Digital Marketing and Project Management. She’s also pretty skilled with a ukulele and has a minor obsession with houseplants.

Leave a Reply