In the current landscape, any business can be subjected to bad consumer reviews.
Even if the interaction and transaction appeared standard and above board, one case of oversight or drop in external expectations can see that star rating start to decline.
This should not be considered a disaster by any means because it is the community exercising their right to leave feedback on public forums.
The responsibility then lies on the company to do the right thing and follow through on sound protocol to address the matter efficiently and effectively.
Not Taking The Reviews Personally
It is important to acknowledge how important it is for consumer reviews to be published from the community to rank businesses on their performance level. Whether it is a product or service that is issued to clients, these individuals will be motivated to leave positive or negative feedback depending on their experience. Since the explosion of social media and shared economy apps have made this behavior commonplace all around the world, it is just how business is done in 2020. Taking the position that this feedback is a slight on the personal character will only make a bad situation worse.
Removing Illegitimate Comments
There is a line to be drawn between genuine consumer reviews that are published in good faith and being the victim of a misleading or false review. The Competition and Consumer Act of 2010 is explicit with this type of activity, deeming it an illegal act that can be prosecuted. Especially for competitors who decide to engage in this behavior or pay participants to target their business, these comments should be flagged with the relevant authorities and accounts before being removed.
Being Swift With a Response
If days and weeks go by without a response to poor consumer reviews, then the situation will only exacerbate from that point forward. The response rate is actually a metric that search engines and social media sites can judge and rank accordingly, yet it will be the clientele who eventually vote with their feet if their inquiry or complaint is not handled in a swift and diligent manner. It will showcase that the company takes the matter seriously and they have the resources to document the case and provide a solution as soon as humanly possible.
Communicating With Consumer Offline
Although it is important to be present through these online channels where the consumer reviews are published, it is a valuable exercise to reach out to these participants in a private setting. Whether this is via a phone call, an email thread, or direct message on social media, businesses should take the time to talk to these customers one-on-one without the discussion being open to public interference. There is always the risk that an email chain or social media direct message can be screenshot and published, so this is where professional decorum and due diligence is mandatory for brands that want to do right by their constituents.
Highlighting & Facilitating Positive Feedback
If there is a handful of poor consumer reviews without much in the way of quality feedback to balance the ledger, then that standing will drag the business down and fast. This is where organizations have to get on the front foot and entice shoppers to do their bit and leave glowing appraisals via Google, Facebook, and any other domains where visitors take notice of their brand. Prizes and discounts can be awarded to a select group while highlighting those community members who do provide quality insights into the product or service. That approach will ensure that bad consumer reviews are seen in isolation.