As an online store owner I’m sure you love to receive positive customer feedback and reviews for your products on Facebook and Google. Satisfied customers who are prepared to tell others about their experience of shopping with you is good for business. The 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey found that 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions.

Compelling reasons for you to be encouraging your customers to share their feedback with you on Facebook and Google.

But what happens when your Google & Facebook reviews are negative?

In this article we’re going to share our advice for handling negative Facebook & Google reviews. And we hope to help you understand how you can use all types of reviews, including negative ones, to your advantage.

But let’s start with an understanding of why you should encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business and products on Facebook and Google.

Facebook Reviews

Facebook is the most highly used social media platform with over 300 million daily active users. Because of its large audience, brands and businesses utilise this social media platform to promote their products and services and collect reviews.

Because Facebook has a casual and engaging vibe, Facebook reviews help online businesses with engagement, brand awareness and visibility and of course, sales.

Facebook users tend to spend time on the platform to relax. Once there they are in the mood for interacting, socialising and having conversations about all sorts of things, including your online store and the products you sell. This type of social proof is valuable for your business.

Google Reviews

Google is the most highly used search engine. Think about your own habits. When you want to know or find something, what do you do?  You Google it. Need a new pair of shoes, a tick treatment for your furry friend or meals delivered to your door? Google has the answers.

And as the statistics I shared earlier in this post show – when we find what we’re looking for on Google, we’re not just reading the description provided by the seller. We’re reading the reviews too. Which is why it makes sense for brands to utlise the power of Google reviews to promote their business and sell their products.

As is the case for Facebook Reviews, Google Reviews are valuable social proof and can make a big difference to your business’s bottom line.

But what happens if my business receives a bad review online?

There is no question that Facebook and Google Reviews are good for business.

Online reviews help ecommerce businesses increase visibility and statistics prove that they influence purchase decisions. Podium found that 63% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product if they’re assured of a better shopping experience. But there is a flip side. 92% of shoppers are less likely to do business with you if they’re reading negative reviews. Ouch!

And unfortunately that’s not the only impact of a bad review:

48% of consumers won’t shop with a business with fewer than 4 star reviews

12% of consumers won’t shop with a business with fewer than 5 star reviews

Does that mean Facebook & Google reviews are bad for business?

All types of reviews – the good, the bad and the in-between, provide valuable feedback that will help you to grow your online business. When you receive a bad review it’s important to analyse the feedback you’re given to determine where you may be letting your customers down, so you can improve and receive better feedback in the future.

Doing better in the future is made even more important by the fact that customers tend to only rely on reviews that are less than three months old. So whilst a bad review can have a negative impact on your business, there is an opportunity to turn that around with better reviews in the future. But that’s not the only opportunity a bad review presents you with. Your future customers are also paying attention to how you respond to your reviews.

Responding to reviews matters

69% of respondents in the Shop Local Survey say they are more likely to use a business that has responded to their positive reviews, while 70% are more likely to use a business that responds to negative reviews. Consumers want you to care about them and responding to negative reviews is one of the ways you demonstrate this to consumers.

Develop a process of regularly checking review sites for reviews and make sure you respond when you find one.

If someone has taken the time to review your business and the products you sell, do them the courtesy of thanking them for the review and commenting on their feedback. Your reply should be on-brand and professional – remember your future customers will be reviewing this exchange.

How to respond to genuine negative reviews

When you ignore a bad review customers will question whether they can trust you. And the person leaving the review may become more annoyed with you and leave further damaging comments.

If a reviewer bought your product or service and had a genuinely negative experience, it’s your job to acknowledge that and fix it. When you handle criticism well you’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to show your customers that their experience of shopping with you matters.

The first step in handling a bad review well is to acknowledge it.

You should then seek to get to the bottom of the issue and fix it if you can. Be courteous, professional and understanding in your replies and offer empathy and a solution. Whilst you may want to take the conversation offline at some point, it is good practice to say enough online to show anyone reading the review that you care and that you have resolved the issue to the customer’s satisfaction. This is how you turn a negative review into something positive.

How to respond to fake negative reviews

Unfortunately, it’s likely that at some point every online store owner will experience spam or disrespectful reviews. When this happens, don’t ignore it. Instead, report the fake review to the administrator of the site where it has been posted. These types of reviews are generally easy to identify and prove as fake. Whilst it may take some time to have a negative review removed, you should find both Facebook and Google helpful, as they don’t want them anymore than you do.

Whilst waiting for a bad review to be removed you can respond to it and highlight that it’s not a review left by a genuine customer. You could add a note that it has been reported. This transparency may help potential customers to feel more confident about shopping with you despite the negative or spam review.

But never get into an argument with a reviewer, whether the review is genuine or not. Remember your future customers are watching how you respond. Remain professional and courteous at all times.

Responding to reviews via your Maropost (Neto) store

Facebook and Google are not the only places customers can leave reviews for your business. Your online shop is another place customers should be encouraged to review your products and experience of shopping with you.

If you’re a Maropost (Neto) store owner, with customer reviews activated, you can approve, reply or even delete a customer review before it becomes visible on the front end of your store (to your future customers). This means you can choose not to share a negative review. You also have the option to reply and work through your customer’s issue so it’s resolved to their satisfaction – and you may choose to then share the exchange between you and your customer as a way of demonstrating how you resolve issues.

Reviews

Don’t forget to share your positive reviews!

Whilst it’s important to be transparent about your reviews and respond to all types of feedback, it’s important to share your positive reviews. If you’ve made a customer happy – shout about it.

You can share your customer testimonials via your email marketing, social media and on your website.

Collecting, replying to and sharing reviews is good for business and should be part of the customer journey with your business. And it’s one of the ways you can turn a customer into a raving fan – even if their initial experience of working with you resulted in a negative review. If you haven’t mapped your customer’s journey, The Customer Journey: How to Create a Booming Business with Email Marketing is a good place to start.

Leave a Reply