It’s really difficult to hear from a customer they didn’t like the product they received from you. It’s even harder when the feedback is in the form of a public review.
Our natural reaction is to be defensive and convince them they are wrong.
Especially when 95% of users rely on reviews to learn more about products.
I’ve noticed that many customers, after looking at the product images, go right to the customer reviews to evaluate if a product is right for them.
I still remember when I first heard that some Amazon reviews were fake. I was so disappointed because I too depend on the product reviews when making a purchasing decision.
So I, along with nearly half of users, specifically look for negative reviews for a source of truth.
Customer reviews, both positive and negative, are key trust factors in your e-commerce store.
Use negative reviews to your advantage
Learn from negative reviews
Your customers are specifically telling you how to improve. Sure, at times they do it while yelling at you or completely berating you. If I could prevent that I would! But they are telling you exactly what they don’t like. If you can solve that problem, do it!
The product isn’t a fit
I was doing research this weekend for a new surge protector and saw a few where the product wasn’t UL certified. That was important to me, so I knew that the product wasn’t what I wanted. I moved on. They just saved me, the customer, from ordering the wrong product and then contacting the company to return the product. So thank you! They are helping you to tell other customers that the product isn’t a fit for them.
Increase the trust of the product ratings
If everything had 5 stars, eventually we’d just see the ratings as noise and ignore the results. Negative reviews are more trusting because customers recognize the authenticity of a negative review more than a positive review.
Provides an opportunity to respond
Not everyone will tell you they have an issue before going public. Many will simply post a negative review and that’s the first time you heard of the issue. This is your opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.
If they are stating the product broke after one use, replace it for free. If they say it was delivered in pieces, replace it for free. If they say they emailed support with no response, respond to them. Use this opportunity to provide exceptional customer service and go above and beyond for them.
Be honest and humble
Acknowledge that some times, you make a mistake. We’re human and we certainly can’t please everyone. Sometimes you can’t help or you can’t solve the issue.
Recognizing publicly that there’s an issue, apologizing for the error or misunderstanding, and showing genuine empathy improves the perception of the company. Simply responding to a negative review even when you can’t help may lead to future sales of an alternative product because they have respect for the company.
We can’t all be perfect and pretending we are, doesn’t help you. Respond to as many negative reviews as you possibly can, ideally all of them. If you can’t respond to them all, focus on your top products and products where negative reviews outweigh positive.
I fix a few dozen problems that plague Shopify and Squarespace stores and turn negative reviews into positives with my Website Rescues.