Introduction to Responding to Negative Reviews Process:

For today’s e-commerce retailers, Apps and SaaS platforms, receiving negative customer reviews are part and parcel of life. 

This template will teach you the art of responding to negative reviews.

In an ideal world, all your customers will love you and your products. They will rave about the quality of your service. They will tell all their friends and family how wonderful you are. They will post complimentary feedback on every review site and they will highly recommend you to others. 

Sadly, we live in a super transparent society where negative reviews, unfortunately, come with the territory. 

Rule number 1 for responding to negative reviews is: Don’t be afraid of them. Negative reviews add a degree of authenticity. A complete set of 5 stars is often seen as “too good to be true” by the suspicious, fickle consumers of today. 

Rule number 2 for responding to negative reviews is:  See them as opportunities. A negative review is, in fact, a quirky little marketing opportunity, not to be missed!

“Bad reviews give you power as a retailer. They give you an opportunity to use your brand voice, to right your wrongs and to deliver stellar customer service — and to do it publicly, where potential customers can see it.” - Tara Johnson, Tinuiti

So, never ignore a bad review. Always embrace it. How else are your future customers going to know how great you are? 

Rule number 3 for responding to negative reviews is: Don’t fight back.  I’m not saying you have to kill them with kindness, but don't get defensive. Take a deep breath, grit your teeth, and swallow your pride.

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it." - George Bernard Shaw 

Acknowledge the issue and respond in a non-confrontational way. This will allow the world to see how great you are at acknowledging your mistakes, taking ownership of your issues and committing to making yourself better for your future customers. 

Negative reviews may break your business, but negative reviews could also make your business - if you respond to them in the right way. 

This template gives you a process to follow that will ensure you, or your customer review team, handle each negative review in the right way. 

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Enter review details

Complete the following fields to establish details about the review. 

You can add other/ more sites to the drop-down above by following these instructions

Make sure this review is recorded using review tracking software or a database. 

Analyze & Respond to Review:

Select which reviewer type you are dealing with

Read the descriptions below and decide which type of reviewer you are dealing with in the drop-down field below. 

People that leave negative reviews, tend to fit into the following categories:

Unhappy. Somewhere along the line things went wrong with this customer. Perhaps you dropped the ball, or you messed up their order. This customer has had a negative experience. 

Rager. A rager will use their words, emotion, and tone to abuse. They leave nasty comments and make threats. This reviewer is a punisher. 

Faker. A faker is someone who leaves a fake review.

Misguided. This customer has been misinformed. Their review is based on inaccurate information that they’ve seen, read or heard.

Establish how to respond to the unhappy customer

Answer the following questions to determine how to respond to the unhappy customers negative review. 

Customers review: {{form.Copy_and_paste_the_review_here:}}

Give a solution to the unhappy customer

Identify the solution to the problem the customer is having in the field below. 

Respond to the customer by copy and pasting one of the following response scripts into {{form.Which_site_was_this_review_posted_on?}}.

Make sure you customize the response and adapt it accordingly. 

Response script 1: No follow-up 

{{form.Customers_name}}, on behalf of {{form.Company_name}}, I'd like to apologize for your bad experience with us. 

To rectify this, we will {{form.What_is_your_solution_to_the_problem?}}. 

Once again, we are sincerely sorry for this and please do not hesitate to reach out to us if this doesn't resolve your issue.

We are grateful for your feedback as it means we can continue to improve. 

Thank you,
{{form.Your_name}}

Example script 2: Follow-up 

{{form.Customers_name}}, on behalf of {{form.Company_name}}, I'd like to apologize for your bad experience with us. 

To rectify this, we will {{form.What_is_your_solution_to_the_problem?}}. 

Please could you let me know if this resolves your issue? 

We are grateful for your feedback as it means we can continue to improve. 

Thank you,
{{form.Your_name}}

Create additional template responses by adding a text widget. Find out more here.  

Supply the correct information to the unhappy customer

As the customer has been misguided, identify what the correct information is in the field below. 

Respond to the customer by copy and pasting the following response script into {{form.Which_site_was_this_review_posted_on?}}.

Make sure you customize the response and adapt it accordingly. 

Response script.

{{form.Customers_name}}, on behalf of {{form.Company_name}}, I'd like to apologize for your bad experience with us. 

We've had a look into this and we believe you have been misinformed.

{{form.Add_the_correct_information_for_the_unhappy_customer_here:}}

We will make this clearer for future customers.

Once again, we are sincerely sorry for this confusion and any inconvenience this may have caused you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if this doesn't resolve your issue.

We are grateful for your feedback as it means we can continue to improve. 

Thank you,
{{form.Your_name}}

Respond to the misguided customer

As the customer has been misguided, identify what the correct information is in the field below. 

Update the customer with accurate information in your response. Copy and paste the following response script into {{form.Which_site_was_this_review_posted_on?}}.

Make sure you customize the response and adapt it accordingly. 

Customers review: {{form.Copy_and_paste_the_review_here:}}

Response script.

{{form.Customers_name}}, on behalf of {{form.Company_name}}, I'd like to apologize for the confusion we have caused. 

{{form.Add_the_correct_information_for_the_misguided_customer_here:}}

We will make this clearer for future customers.

Once again, we are sincerely sorry for this confusion and any inconvenience this may have caused you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if this doesn't resolve your issue.

We are grateful for your feedback as it means we can continue to improve. 

Thank you,
{{form.Your_name}}

Establish how to respond to the rager

Answer the following questions to determine how to respond to the rager customers negative review. 

Customers review: {{form.Copy_and_paste_the_review_here:}}

Supply the correct information to the rager

As the customer has been misguided, identify what the correct information is in the field below. 

Respond to the customer by copy and pasting the following response script into {{form.Which_site_was_this_review_posted_on?}}.

Make sure you customize the response and adapt it accordingly. 

Example script.

{{form.Customers_name}}, on behalf of {{form.Company_name}}, I'd like to apologize for your bad experience with us. 

We've had a look into this and we believe you have been misinformed.

{{form.Add_the_correct_information_for_the_rager_here:}}

We will make this clearer for future customers.

Once again, we are sincerely sorry for this confusion and any inconvenience this may have caused you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if this doesn't resolve your issue.

We are grateful for your feedback as it means we can continue to improve. 

Thank you,
{{form.Your_name}}

Escalate the rager

Monitor this review, but do not respond

Escalate this review to your Review manager by sending the below email.

A complaint should always be acknowledged and addressed, but a rager is simply there to incite anger. Don't feed them the very treat they are seeking. 

Escalate the faker

Select the reasons why you feel this review is fake. You can select more than one reason. 

  • 1
    high number of reviews left on the same day
  • 2
    suspicious language / phrase repetition
  • 3
    abundance of spelling / grammar errors
  • 4
    the reviewers profile

Monitor this review, but do not respond

Escalate this review to your Review manager by sending the below email. They will be able to report or flag it to the marketplace as inappropriate.

Make sure the review is recorded

Make sure this review is captured in your review management software or database. 

Share Review:

Confirm if the review should be shared

Answer the following question to establish if this review needs to be shared with any other department. 

Email department

Answer the following question to determine why you are sending this review to another department.

You can select more than one reason. 

  • 1
    I need an answer to a question
  • 2
    I need a solution to a problem
  • 3
    I feel the department can learn from this review and improve

Once you have established the reasons for sending this review to another department, send the email below. 

Follow Up Review:

Confirm if a follow-up customer message is needed

Confirm if the customers review requires a follow-up response. 

If the answer id ''Yes'', use dynamic due dates to set the date for the follow-up message.

To find out how to set a dynamic due date, check this article out.  

Send follow up message

Time to follow up with the customer! 

Sources:

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