A negative review on the first page of search results can cost a business 22% of its customers, according to a survey by Moz, one of the most trusted SEO companies in the marketplace. 

    People write negative reviews because they’re unhappy with the experience they received and feel the need to express their disappointment. People may also want to advise others about a negative experience they had so they can avoid the business in general. In some cases, people may be trying to hurt a business’s reputation and spread false information.

    Whatever the reason, it is important to keep in mind that reviews are a key determinant in a prospect’s purchase decision-making and should be taken seriously. The optimal scenario is to only receive positive reviews, but the reality is that it is most common for those who feel dissatisfaction with your business to voice their opinion—so what do we do?

    While negative online reviews can be discouraging, is it important to use this as an opportunity to improve your business and build trust with customers. Take a listen to our customer, Rob Durham, Vice President of Human Resources and Marketing, for Lakeside International Trucks, as he speaks on their process when their dealership gets a bad review:

    How to Handle Bad Reviews?

    Turning an angry customer into a happy customer can be challenging, but it's also a great opportunity to improve your business and build trust with your customers. Here are eight ways to deal with negative online reviews.

    1. Respond Promptly: When you receive a negative online review, the first thing you should do is respond to it as soon as possible. This shows the reviewer that you are listening and that you care about their feedback. It also gives you the opportunity to address any concerns they may have and try to resolve the situation.

    2. Be Professional and Polite: When responding to a negative review, it's important to stay professional and polite and that you are truly representing your dealership’s core values. Even if the review is unfair or unwarranted, responding in a negative or defensive way will only make the situation worse. Instead, focus on addressing the concerns raised in the review and try to find a solution that is mutually satisfactory.

    3. Develop a Personal Relationship: If the negative review mentions a specific team member or provides a lot of personal details, it's often best to take the conversation offline. This could mean providing your direct contact information so that the reviewer can contact you directly to discuss the issue in more detail. Or even better, find the reviewer’s contact information in your database and reach out. By moving the conversation off of the review site, you can have a more productive and focused discussion.

    4. Create Understanding: A good step in turning an angry customer into a happy customer is to listen carefully to their concerns. This means giving them your full attention and letting them express their frustrations without interrupting. By listening carefully, you can better understand what has made the customer angry and what you can do to help. Listening to our customers will help us improve and help the customer feel that they are being heard.

    5. Take Responsibility: After listening carefully, apologize for the mistake or situation that caused the customer's anger. Even if the problem wasn't your fault, taking responsibility can help diffuse the situation and show the customer that you are willing to do what it takes to make things right.

    6. Offer a Solution: After apologizing, offer a solution to the customer's problem. This could mean providing a refund, offering a discount, or simply providing additional support or assistance. Whatever the solution, make sure it is fair and reasonable, and that it addresses the customer's concerns.

    7. Satisfaction Follow-Up: After a few days, follow up with the customer to ensure they are satisfied with your solution. This could mean sending them an email, giving them a call, or simply checking in with them the next time they visit your business. By following up, you can show the customer that you are committed to their satisfaction and that you value their business.

    8. Put Feedback into Action: Finally, use negative online reviews as an opportunity to improve your business. Take the feedback seriously and consider what changes you could make to address the concerns raised in the review. This could mean making adjustments to your products or services, improving your customer service, or simply being more attentive to your customers' needs.

    By taking action and making improvements, you can turn a negative review into a positive experience and demonstrate to other customers that you are committed to providing the best possible experience.

    A study by Harvard Business Review found that customers who had their complaints satisfactorily resolved were more loyal and more likely to repurchase than customers who had no complaints at all. Additionally, other studies have found that:

    • Customers who had their complaints resolved were more likely to recommend the business to others than customers who had not experienced a problem.
    • Customers who had their complaints resolved were 70% more likely to do business with the company again than customers who did not have their complaints resolved.

    Overall, these statistics suggest that responding to negative reviews and resolving customer complaints can have a significant positive impact on a business. By recovering unhappy customers, businesses can improve customer loyalty, increase customer retention, and attract new customers. It's important for businesses to address negative feedback both promptly and professionally while working to find a satisfactory resolution to the customer's problem.

    Taking control of your online reputation may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be when you have the right people, processes, and tools in place. SATISFYD has been helping heavy machinery manufacturers and dealerships “wow” their customers and employees since 1998, and we feel confident we can help you improve your online reputation effectively. You can learn more about what we do here.

    Emilie Spalla
    Post by Emilie Spalla
    May 30, 2023
    Emilie Spalla, Vice President at SATISFYD, has over 15 years of client relations experience in the manufacturing, agriculture, and construction industries. At SATISFYD, Emilie has created a customer-first environment, leading teams that deliver high-quality solutions that exceed customer expectations. She has worked closely with both enterprise and dealer groups and is passionate about helping them create customer experience excellence strategies and programs. Emilie is excited to help businesses provide the very best experience for their customers. Emilie holds a Business Management and Economics degree from Hope College. She is an avid mountain biker and resides in Traverse City, Michigan with her husband and two daughters.

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