How to Handle E-Commerce Customer Criticism
Negative ratings, curt replies and downright rude comments, whether true or not, can negatively impact your e-commerce website. Whether it’s a single comment on a marketplace or consistent trolling in social media, learn how responding positively, professionally and promptly can help you improve your customer relations and protect you from vicious comments.
It’s tempting to fight back or respond aggressively to negative feedback, particularly if you don’t feel it’s an accurate representation of your company or the particular encounter. However, online reviews and comments are visible by everyone, not just the critic.
Kind words can either deescalate the situation or encourage other viewers to silently take your side. Remember that harsh words can’t be taken back, so be sure you don’t respond harshly, regardless of the comment.
Maintain a Sense of Professionalism
Acknowledge their right to their opinion, and word your answer in a way that is friendly, full of sympathy and patient. Don’t spend your time trying to prove you’re right. Otherwise, you’ll turn away more customers than you bring in.
If the accusation is serious and the customer is particularly valuable, consider moving the situation offline. This allows you and your customer to interact face-to-face. If the criticism was valid, it gives you an opportunity to remedy it without the entire internet following your conversation.
While it doesn’t pay to start an argument with your customers, an unanswered negative review does two things:
- Your customer can feel unappreciated and ignored.
- Their negative comment has the last word.
Without responding in some way to the criticism, many other customers may assume their negative view of your product, service or entire company is correct. A quick response shows that you’ve nothing to hide.
If the complaint is valid, a prompt apology and remedy can help you keep your customer. If you don’t feel the negative review was warranty, a brief, professional explanation of the scenario may help you win over other customers.