Reviews are one of the most important feedbacks to make your potential customers understand your value and quality, which is why converting negative reviews to positive should be one of those activities you should pay a lot of attention to.
In fact, if your business has achieved a score of 4.5 out of 5 in a few hundred votes, undoubtedly the quality of the work done is high; however you may find yourself facing some negative or even false reviews! Depending on your business and customer flow, it will be more or less difficult to recognize real reviews and those that are not at all.
Many users nowadays place a large part of their trust in reviews: this is called “social proof”, also known as the social influence of information, and it is a psychological phenomenon described by Robert Cialdini in his theory of social influence. According to this principle, people tend to reflect the actions of others in an attempt to assume the correct behavior for a given situation. These are typically relevant dynamics in conditions in which people do not possess the crucial knowledge to establish which behavior is the most appropriate; it is guided by the assumption that people who are credited with greater knowledge of the situation can indicate the appropriate behavior. This is why, to orient themselves, they read what their previous customers write, and above all they stop to study the negative reviews.
With calm and cold blood, respond to all the reviews that are promptly written about your business, and especially to the negative ones! Take a deep breath (I know, sometimes it’s hard!) And, with all your professionalism, trying to put yourself in the shoes of the dissatisfied customer and thinking that anything can improve you, answer-those-reviews!
Please do not make two big mistakes thinking you are smarter than the others: DO NOT delete negative reviews and DO NOT create fake profiles to raise the percentage value, public is not stupid and would immediately understand that something is out of place.
How to distinguish a real review from a fake one
To convert negative reviews into positive you should first of all try to remember who is that person is that left you a negative review, to reconstruct the events and understand what could have gone wrong to the point of prompting him to tell his bad experience online.
It also tries, first of all indeed I would say, to understand if the profile used by that user is fictitious or real. If he is a competitor who wants to play dirty, he will never use his profile! If you are sure it is false, report it immediately, if instead you are not able to distinguish if it is true or false, consider it as true and continue as on the following points, turning the negative review into a strong point for your business!
How to respond to a negative review
First of all: NO PANIC!
A negative review can also happen to the best, I assure you!
When the negative review lacks a description (for example it only has a star on Google), it is usually considered of little value by users, but being a professional always ready to improve, you should want to understand why that rating is so low anyway.
Respond politely by asking for explanations on why the customer has found himself wrong with your business, in order to improve your service (perhaps even asking for a “second chance” … no one refuses something offered or a good discount) and thus convert the negative review into positive.
You may not receive an answer but in the eyes of those who read the reviews you have shown a strong interest in your customers, putting them in a position to give you another chance. Remember that those who read reviews about your business do not know you yet and above all that converting negative reviews into positive is not easy, it takes commitment and perseverance.
Every review you receive deserves an answer, even the positive ones, but you have to pay attention especially to the most uncomfortable ones, asking for explanations, showing regret for their negative experience and, considering that you will do your best to improve yourself based also on their suggestions , proposing that he return to visit you to change his mind.
The tone of voice with which you will respond to people must be subjective and the answers must arrive as quickly as possible, also in order to allow you (and your staff) to trace who that customer could actually be.
Refer to the customer by name to make him feel closer to you and thank him for the review before making yourself available to clear up the misunderstanding, especially don’t make the mistake of making a unique message and copy-paste to everyone or be arrogant, you would just annoy the dissatisfied customer and you would definitely not make a good impression on potential customers who will read your answers!
How to convert negative reviews into positive and a strength
To convert the negative review into a positive one, in addition to the transparency and willingness to improve recommended above, it might be a good thing to offer a refund or some coupon to incentivize the dissatisfied customer to come back and therefore change their opinion, but wait, make sure feel good this time!