billbean

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How best to respond to negative customer reviews? I'm looking for your favorite examples.

Like me, you probably have frequent conversations with clients about the importance of responding to negative reviews whenever it's possible. There's so much that's positive about negative reviews, but the client only wants to drive to Zuckerberg's house and demand he take it off their page.

I'm looking to compile a list of effective responses my clients can use. Examples might go farther than explaining the concepts.

Also, feel free to share the articles you've shared with clients to help them learn.

Thanks!
 

JoyHawkins

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Here a few templates we like to use (these are insurance examples):

I am very sorry about your experience. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional claims service. I have reviewed all open claims and cannot find any that are not being handled promptly. Please call me right away at (insert phone #) direct extension (enter extension) and I will personally ensure you get connected with your adjustor and that we get a resolution. Thank you. (agent name)

First and foremost, we apologize that your experience with our office was an unpleasant one. That is not the service level that we hold ourselves to. We always try to go above and beyond for each and every customer. I would love the opportunity to hear about your concerns directly. My office and cell phone numbers are listed on our website, and I welcome the chance to talk with you to see how we can resolve your issues and provide you the service that you deserve. Please call me if you would like to discuss your concerns further. Thanks, (agent name)

Hi ___, I would like to be given the opportunity to discuss this experience with you. The fact of the matter is, insurance rates are not negotiable, however, we offer plenty of discounts that I am sure you would be eligible for. I sincerely hope that you give me a call so we can discuss this further. (enter phone number). (agent name).

We have thoroughly reviewed your complaint and we feel that we owe you our deepest apologies for the inconvenience our personal injury department has caused you. We will forward this information to our home office.

I am sorry to hear that was your experience with the prior agency. The old agent has retired and there is now a new agent and staff in the office. Our location and phone number are the same, but we now have extended hours during the week (we are open until 7:30 pm) and we take appointments on Saturday and Sunday. We have four licensed staff members to help with anything customers need. We make it our priority to provide the best customer service possible and attend to the needs of all of our customers.

Thank you for choosing [insert name] for your insurance and financial services. I want to extend my apologies for your misunderstanding. If there is anything we can do for you in the near future, please let me know.

I am sorry you had an unfavorable experience with my office. I will assure you however that our office strives to give every one of our clients the customer service they deserve, in a timely fashion. We recognize that our clients are number one when it comes to our agency. It is our job to help people recover from the unexpected in life, and to assist with any questions regarding their existing policies, in any fashion. My fully licensed staff is here to assist and advise every one of our policy holders in the community, and we take tremendous pride in that.


Unfortunately (customer name) had an unusual experience with my agency that is completely uncharacteristic to the service that I have strived to provide in the past 24 years of my [insert name] career. My agency as well as [insert name] has several methods to mitigate a valued policyholder ending up in this scenario. I will continue to value each and every customer with superior care and desire to protect them from negative experiences in all aspects of their insurance and financial services.
 

andykuiper

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Thank you for writing a review. Why you chose us is beyond me, however we are elated to know that you have now decided to work with someone else ;-)
 

Margaret Ornsby

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Here are some other's I've picked up through the years that are more generic. I recommend them as inspiration to my customers, not something to be copied and pasted.

  1. When a customer takes the time to leave a review online, we listen! We want to apologise for (problem) and let you know that we have taken the necessary steps to insure that this doesn?t happen again. Please know that your experience was an isolated occurrence and that the management and staff would love another chance at impressing you.
  2. It is our goal to treat every person that walks through our doors as a VIP customer. When our team falls short of that standard and a customer walks away dissatisfied, then we have a real problem. We want to apologise for your less- than-outstanding experience and would like to invite you back in to show you just how amazing our team can be.
  3. We hear you load and clear! Your feedback is more than understandable. We appreciate that you took the time to let us know and we will be implementing your suggestions in that near future. Visit us again to see what a difference your review made.
  4. We greatly value the opinions of our customers. At (business) we work hard every day to insure that our customer?s needs are being met. Thank you very much for your review.
  5. Everyone has an off day - even amazing businesses. I?d like to apologise for this unfortunate (incident/confusion/inconvenience). Please give us a second chance and see the stuff we are really made of. Visit us again and receive a (%) off your next visit.
  6. We apologise for the unfortunate experience and regret that it happened at all. Our #1 goal is customer satisfaction. While we can apologise for this unfortunate situation, sometimes that?s just not enough to say we are sorry. We invite you to contact our store manager at (09) 9999-9999 and let us know how we can make it up to you.
  7. It?s understandable that you would be upset after (experience). We definitely do not want to lose you, or anyone, as a customer as a result of this bad experience. Please contact our store manager at (09) 9999-9999 and let us know how we can better serve you.
  8. Your opinion is very valuable to us at (business). We take each and every customer suggestion into consideration. Thank you very much for your review.
 
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Your templates are great Joy. I love the nuanced differences between each version. It's obvious that you care deeply about your clients and it comes across in the copy.

What type of responses do you get from clients when these are sent out? Have you noticed different types of responses depending on the email you choose?

Thanks for sharing!
 
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Thank you for the quick response Joy!

As long as they're working, no need to question it! I guess I was curious if any of them were more likely to elicit a change in rating after the biz sends their response. We always hope that a negative review can be addressed and result in a non-reputation hurting adjustment, but you never know.

It's good to have multiple templates either way, since you don't want to come off as robotic.

Good stuff.
 
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Things to think about during responses:


1. Make bad reviewer look crazy. For good reviews, try to offer new information but
not like an obvious ad. Usually 1-3 paragraphs.
2. Starting off with an apology (even if it is a ridiculous review)
3. Suggesting that the customer may mistakenly be reviewing another business
4. Addressing specific items in the customer review
5. Stating that you do not have a record of anyone by the name of the reviewer or
their phone number in your records and that you keep great records
6. Have a history of many happy and loyal customers
7. Offering to have the customer contact you personally and that you are still willing
to resolve any issues or give a refund.
8. Bring up the reputation of the yelp reviewer.
9. Try to be more factual.
10. Use keywords

Brought to you by AwesomeDynamic.com
 

valesence

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Things to think about during responses:


1. Make bad reviewer look crazy. For good reviews, try to offer new information but
not like an obvious ad. Usually 1-3 paragraphs.
2. Starting off with an apology (even if it is a ridiculous review)
3. Suggesting that the customer may mistakenly be reviewing another business
4. Addressing specific items in the customer review
5. Stating that you do not have a record of anyone by the name of the reviewer or
their phone number in your records and that you keep great records
6. Have a history of many happy and loyal customers
7. Offering to have the customer contact you personally and that you are still willing
to resolve any issues or give a refund.
8. Bring up the reputation of the yelp reviewer.
9. Try to be more factual.
10. Use keywords

Brought to you by AwesomeDynamic.com

2. Very smart, customers see your empathy, and human side.
6. Social proof, most customers like us....
7. Shows you care
10. favorite one.... opportunity for keyword stuffing.


I also wanted to mention. Negative reviews can be a positive. Many customers will read negative reviews to get a better feel for your business. Customers know business isn't perfect all the time. They read the negative reviews and as long as it isn't a pattern, its not a deal breaker. The fortune, is in the follow up. All the examples will let the customer know you care about your customers and honestly try hard to provide great service.

I also believe customers are leery of any business that has all positive reviews. Think about yourself personally. Do you trust a business that has 20 all positive reviews that say glowing things? I think a review profile that includes 90% positive, plus a few negatives will convert more customers. Never ever ever, attack someone for leaving a review. It can hurt you more than the review, even if the review isn't accurate.
 
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