Negative Feedback Examples in Online Client Communication

Customer Feedback | 5 Min Read
by Joanne Wayne
@JoanneW
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Negative feedback in business is generally identified as employee criticism and is a sign for businesses that some employees aren't covering all aspects of the job, necessary to get the best results.

However, in this article, we are talking about customer feedback. Feedback can be private (when customers talk to you face to face) or public (when they write reviews on the Internet).

How to Respond to Negative Feedback

  1. Apologize.
  2. Сlarify things.
  3. Promise to figure it out.
  4. Actually, keep your promise.
  5. Resolve the issue with the client.
  6. Close the case

This is just a general algorithm, you will need to adjust it to each case, depending on the type of negative feedback you receive.

Types of Negative Feedback

  • Criticizing everything but the product
  • Criticizing the product itself
  • Customer's emotional outburst
  • Fake negative reviews

Criticizing Everything but the Product

It might happen that customers like your product or service but they aren't positive towards other aspects of your business like the price or staff.
The client liked the product but didn’t like the service
The client liked the product but didn't like the service
In this case, you should apologize for the inconvenience, figure out what went wrong and share this information with the customer. Direct the customer to an offline conversation, speak to them by phone and answer any questions they have, just like in the following negative review response example.
The business owner suggests moving the discussion offline to solve the problem to the customer
The business owner suggests moving the discussion offline to solve the problem to the customer
The next example of negative feedback shows that the customer is pleased with the quality of the product. But, she had difficulties with the staff of the shop and wrote a big complaint about it. The shop's owner reacted fast and took measures to resolve the issue.
The business owner tells that the customer’s problem was solved quickly and efficiently
The business owner tells that the customer's problem was solved quickly and efficiently

Criticizing the Product Itself

Contrary to our previous point, customers may praise everything except the product. They may say that your place is great, the employees are incredibly polite, the prices are good, but the product itself is not the best option they can find.
The business owner promising to clarify the customer’s issue for no cost
The business owner promising to clarify the customer's issue for no cost

In the above review, the business owner is following our algorithm. Firstly, they apologize and then they promise to find out what went wrong. They also offer the customer a freebie, saying that this check will be free of charge for the customer.
Close more deals with quick and easy customer interaction!

Customer's Emotional Outburst

Your customers are people too, and people can be quite emotional sometimes. It may happen that they have some personal issues, and in addition to this, they may face an unfortunate situation while dealing with your business, which might result in an emotional outburst from the client.

Though sometimes this outburst can happen because you did something that really annoyed them, for example, made them wait too long for their order. Nevertheless, admit your guilt, apologize to the customer, contact them to get more information about the problem and solve it.
The angry customer, all steamed up, leaving a negative review
The angry customer, all steamed up, leaving a negative review

Fake Negative Reviews

Fake negative reviews are quite often seen on Yelp, Facebook reviews, and other websites. You can't delete them but you can complain to the support service.

While your request is being considered, reply to these fake reviews and show other clients that they are fake. The best way to prove that they are fake is to look through your customer data, see that you never served a customer with that name and write about it.
The business owner clearly explains that they’ve never had this client
The business owner clearly explains that they've never had this client
The business owner briefly tells that the reviewer has never been a customer of them
The business owner briefly tells that the reviewer has never been a customer of them

How to Behave When Receiving Negative Feedback

  • Stay calm.
  • Analyze the cause.
  • Create review response templates.
  • Figure out how to prevent this situation from happening again.
Negative feedback and bad reviews can hurt your feelings. But don't let negative emotions control you, keep calm and analyze them.

Note that it's important to respond to all of the reviews, no matter if they provide positive feedback or if they are negative, neutral or even fake. This will show your empathy to customers if they have complaints, or your gratitude to the ones who have positive reviews. Remember that reviews are full of insights, and if you process them properly, your business will prosper.

If you want to manage your reviews in a simpler way, use Chosen to gather negative reviews. If a user clicks on "Bad Impression", they will see a pop-up window with an offer to give an online review. This review will be sent into your internal CRM system where you can manage all of the reviews.
The interface your client sees when clicks “Bad Impression”
The interface your client sees when clicks "Bad Impression"

One Minute Psychology: How Empathy Works

Theory: Balance is Essential

Jim Camp, the author of a number of global bestsellers, compares negotiations with a pendulum, which from time to time makes erratic movements. Any deviations, positive or negative, are not desirable. Balance is the best condition for negotiating.

Camp's technique is to soften the feelings the client experiences and reduce the pressure on them. Decisions made in the extreme states of the pendulum will be based on emotions, unlike decisions made in the middle position.

Practice: How to Strike the Right Balance

For example, one of a company's customers, who is hosting a site and storing mail on a hosting service, calls with a complaint that they started to get too much spam, and want to change hosting provider.

If the specialist starts to defend the company, saying something like: "You know, we have a reliable hosting and spam filter. Everything is working properly with us.", it would only increase the customer's outrage and increase the risk of losing them.

In such cases, it's better to empathise with the customer: "Oh really? This should not have happened, I'll deal with it right away. Tell me, when did you notice an increase in spam?" The reaction to the client's complaint should be sincere and empathetic, this usually surprises the client so much that they forget that they threatened to leave.
Originally published Aug 19, 2019 10:00:00 AM
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