It is impossible not to get negative customer reviews as a fashion business that encourages feedback. No matter how hard you try, not every customer will be satisfied with your products or services. While a positive review encourages over 90% of consumers to patronise a business, a negative review can counter most positive ones.
How you handle negative reviews as a fashion entrepreneur can either make or mar your business, so it is important to handle them right. Here are the dos and don’ts of responding to negative customer reviews like a pro.
The Dos of Negative Customer Reviews
Do Respond Timely
As tempting as it might be to shy away from negative reviews and ignore them altogether, don’t do it. Always respond to all your reviews about your fashion business in a timely way, especially when it’s a negative one. Whenever you see a negative review, no matter how much it hurts, make sure to respond to it in a day or two.
While it is important to respond to negative reviews as soon as possible, don’t do it in the spur of the moment, especially if you feel angry about it. Wait a little while to get your emotions under control then respond. But make sure to answer in two days max. This shows both the reviewer and other customers that you care about them and how they feel.
Do Apologise Sincerely
It can be difficult for anyone to acknowledge a fault. However, you must do it. As a fashion entrepreneur, always be ready to offer your customers a sincere apology when they have a bad experience with your business. A lot of the time, customers just want to be heard so show some empathy.
As much as possible, address the customer by name, thank them for letting you know about their experience and apologise to them. As you apologise, explain the situation to the customer, but never give an excuse. Also, you should acknowledge the failures that led to that situation.
Along with apologising sincerely, use the opportunity to promote your business’s strengths in your reply. Without being defensive or contradicting the client, highlight what your fashion business aspires to be. Explain how their complaint makes you genuinely concerned since it does not stand with your business’ high ideals and strengths. By doing so, you show the customer that they are heard and promote your business too.
Do Offer a Solution
As important as leaving an apology is, sometimes customers are not concerned about excuses, they want a solution. So, after you have evaluated the complaint, either offline or online, offer a solution. Let the solution be the star part of your response, along with the apology.
Offering a displeased customer a solution to the problem they faced with your fashion business can be the difference between retaining and losing them. People, most of the time, just want to know how you will fix their problem.
So, depending on what the issue is, offer a solution. This solution can come in various ways, including;
- Replace the customer’s order with a new one,
- Offer a discount on the product,
- Give a refund,
- Provide them with a coupon or promotion,
- Expedite shipping fees.
This solution can often make the customer go back and change their negative review. It can also endear new customers to your fashion business.
The Don’ts of Negative Customer Reviews
Don’t Take it Personally
Your fashion business is your baby and you know how much work you put into it so it can be tempting to take negative reviews personally. You might feel like the review was an attack on your person and be tempted to respond as such. Don’t. Most of the time, customers leave negative reviews to prevent others from going through what they did.
So, sit down, and look into what caused the dissatisfaction. Don’t become defensive, irritated, or combative in your response. Instead, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and remember that they just want to fix their issue. This way, you can use the opportunity to show your dedication to customer service.
Whether the bad review is a result of a genuine complaint or a misunderstanding, respond nicely. Detach yourself from the situation and measure your words as you respond. Even if the client is at fault, still be careful with your words and apologise for their negative experience. However, you should never take the blame or shift the blame to them.
Don’t Give an Automated Response
While automated replies are good in some circumstances, you should never use them to deal with negative customer reviews. Instead, as a fashion entrepreneur, you have to respond to each review individually. Sure, you can follow the same template, but never let your wordings be the same to every customer.
You have to make them know that you care about them and their issues individually. An automated response does not do this. In responding to each customer complaint, make sure to;
- Use the customer’s name,
- Tailor your response to the customer’s specific issue,
- Avoid saying the same thing to each person.
Don’t Stop There
If a customer requires extra attention, find a way to direct the conversation offline. You can do this by asking them to call customer service or send an email. You can also ask them to provide their contact information to you privately so you can reach out to them.
Resolving the issue offline can save your fashion business from public spats and help you address the customer properly. Once you have resolved the complaint offline, make sure to provide an update on the negative review to state how it was resolved.
In responding to negative customer reviews, always remember to stick to your brand voice. Don’t let the way you handle negative customer reviews destroy all the hard work you’ve put into building your fashion business. Now, go on and handle those negative reviews like a pro.