How to Deal with Negative E-Commerce Feedback
E-commerce has allowed those with a business idea to finally follow through with their vision. Now, entrepreneurs do not have to raise a large sum of money for capital. There is no need to borrow from friends and relatives, apply for loans from banks and other lenders, or pitch to a panel of venture capital firm stakeholders.
If you have a product that you believe in and an adequate amount of money in your savings account, you can start small and manage your e-commerce business from home.
With e-commerce, you have a captive audience—the people who spend their idle hours scrolling through their phones. So if you market aggressively and implement a foolproof customer service strategy, your brand will find its target market and drive their attention in no time.
In addition, the more people know about you, the higher your customer conversion rate will be and the faster you can rise above the competition. But one downside is the higher chances of getting negative feedback if your service is not up to customers’ standards. They might appear on your social media channels, product review sites, or on your website’s product pages.
Regardless of where they show up, they can be detrimental to the business you built from scratch. However, negative feedback doesn’t have to be your e-commerce business’s Trojan horse. You have the power to steer the situation in your favor. Here are some helpful ways you can address negative feedback.
Encourage customers to share constructive feedback
Think of this as a proactive strategy—some sort of mental conditioning, if you will. Asking your customers for their feedback shows that your brand is managed with thoughtfulness and empathy. It also implies that you don’t mind hearing their negative experiences with your business, so long as you’re allowed to address those concerns.
A customer hearing your assurance that negative feedback is welcome might think twice about making negative feedback public. That’s because you’ve already built rapport with them.
Continuously improve the delivery process
This is something you should be doing even without receiving negative feedback. Remember that 69% of consumers feel disappointed if their purchase is not delivered within two days of the expected delivery date. So, make sure your logistics system leaves no room for error.
Common delivery process errors include late delivery and delivery outside the hours specified by the customer. Remember that your customers go to work, so if they requested a product be delivered in the evening at home, there’s a good reason for that. Meanwhile, if they used their office address and specifically asked it delivered during office hours, make sure that’s how it goes.
Wrong product delivery is another legitimate concern, as well as delivery of a damaged or unsatisfactory product. Both these scenarios call for a seamless return process. If you promptly cater to a return request, you might avoid a negative review alluding to your poor e-commerce customer service.
Boost quality assurance
Product returns eat into your profit margins. The process requires you to cover some costs. Plus, you’re on the edge of receiving a negative review from the customer who returned a product. That is, even if the return has been successful. After all, the customer’s time has been wasted ordering and waiting for a product that proved unsatisfactory. This is where strict quality assurance comes in.
Do not let a product go out of your storage without checking. If it’s not up to standard, don’t ship it to a customer. Also, make sure that the products you have in stock are consistent with the product photos you post online. For example, while some customers won’t mind if a pair of socks looks duller than their photos, others would go out of their way to send that pair of socks back to you and request a refund.
Both scenarios can result in negative reviews directed at your business, which you can still turn into a positive review based on how you will handle it.
Learn the details of the incident
Your default response to a negative review ought to be of acceptance and humility. You fell short and did not deliver what you promised a customer. However, you have the right to look into the details of the incident too. Refer to this Macs4U review appraisal tips. Your goal is to ascertain the veracity of the feedback.
Remember that corporate espionage is real. Smaller businesses, especially those in direct competition with you, might have heard about it. They might be doing some small-scale project to sabotage your brand via negative reviews. Report these fake reviews as soon as possible if they appear on third-party review sites.
Respond promptly and precisely
The ideal customer service response time is within 48 hours upon review receipt. Anything beyond that time frame gives off the impression that you don’t prioritize customer inquiries beyond your operating hours. This can drive away potential customers who are ready to talk during those hours.
Compose a thoughtful response. Address the reviewer by their name. Thank them for spending time to share their thoughts and concerns, and apologize for failing to meet their expectations. Give an assurance that the matter will be looked into and resolved ASAP.
You can request the customer to contact you via phone or email. That’s your way of discreetly taking conflict resolution beyond social media platforms or review pages, out of public scrutiny.
It won’t hurt your brand to offer compensation to a frustrated customer. If you’re being careful, you can call it “restitution” instead of “compensation.” You can send the customer the same product for free. Just make sure this time it is packed well, have all parts working, and delivered promptly. You can also send a box of freebies from your slow-moving stocks.
Do not forget to follow up. Ask the customer how they feel after wrapping conflict resolution. If you feel like you’ve built enough rapport with your once irate customer, request to remove or update the review they wrote.
Negative feedback will only remain negative if you do not do anything about it. But if you try to resolve them by trying the recommendations above, you can bounce back from an unfavorable customer review.
So, never ignore negative feedback, no matter how hurtful it is to your brand. Prove to whoever wrote it that you’re willing to go out of your way to make amends, improve how you do business, and keep customers happy. Customers are usually forgiving. Plus, they might even find a new appreciation for your brand if the conflict resolution they experienced with you is top-notch.
Garry Everrett is a Tech Geek who is a writer by passion. Mostly he writes about topics revolving around the latest gadget and technology. On his free time, he likes to read sci-fi novels and play golf.