In my last post, I highlighted the importance of writing a good refund policy. But, what should you do if that customer that asked for a refund leaves a bad review or bad feedback online? First, take a deep breath – and welcome to the world of business. Dealing with negative reviews comes with having your own small business.
Here are a few tips for dealing with bad reviews or feedback:
- Wait a period of time before responding publicly. This gives you time to settle down and think clearly through the situation, rather than responding out of emotion. In many cases, responses from the business owner are final and cannot be changed after posting them.
- While you are waiting to respond publicly, reach out to the buyer or reviewer.
- If possible, take the issue offline. There is no need to hash out problems online in front of the whole world to see. If you can, email or call the buyer and start by apologizing to them. Then, work with them to find a good solution to the issue. I like to use open end language, such as, “I’m sorry there is an issue with your order. Having buyers of my products satisfied is important to me. What would you suggest I do to make you satisified with XYZ product?”
- Put yourself in the shoes of the reviewer. Did you you not deliver on your promises? Did you make an error on the order? If you did, reach out to the reviewer and fix the situation. Then, respond to the review publicly, stating what you did to fix the situation – and what you will do to prevent the situation from happening to other buyers.
- Keep it professional. Even if you feel the buyer is at fault, remedy the situation without name calling, cattiness, rudeness, and so on.
- Remember that people will look at your overall feedback rating, not only the negative review. In some ways, a negative review shows that you are human, because it adds credibility to your business. If you are able to post a response to the review that shows how you’ve grown from the experience, how you’ve changed whatever the issue may be, or how you worked with the buyer – do so. This lets future buyers know that you will go above and beyond to make them satisfied.
- Like I mentioned above, there is always going to be that one person you won’t be able to please – no matter what you do. One review doesn’t define you or your business, put yourself past it and move on.
Etsy sellers! I strongly urge you to wait before responding to reviews on Etsy. Once you respond to a review, the review is locked in and the buyer cannot edit or remove it. Instead, reach out directly to the buyer through a conversation to fix the situation. I’ve seen many cases where a buyer has edited a review after the seller has fixed the issue.