Any press is good press, right?
In a world where anyone can be a critic, are reviews as important as they used to be? According to Broadly, 84% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations and 87% of consumers won’t use a business with less than a three-star average from its reviews.
A surge of negative reviews can bring a business to its knees, especially in the finance industry. People may be willing to take a gamble on a restaurant with a less than stellar reputation but asking people to trust their hard-earned cash with a company who struggles to earn praise isn’t going to be well received.
The worst thing you can do is ignore a negative review in the finance industry. So, if you’re ready to boost your online reputation, browse our tips on how to respond to a negative review in a professional and effective manner.
Why You Need to Respond to Negative Reviews
We know, it’s certainly easier to just ignore a bad review. The words hurt and confrontation is uncomfortable. But unfortunately, you can’t just ignore a negative review about your business. In fact, the longer you leave it unaddressed, the more damage it can do.
There’s no way to know how many people have already read a review before you address it, or how many future clients it could deter if left unaddressed. So, while your response should only be directed to the reviewer, you’re also responding to anyone else who has or may come across the review.
Replying to negative reviews shows your professionalism and dedication to making things right. It serves as proof that you believe every customer should have a positive experience with your business.
5 Tips to Remember When Responding to a Negative Review
There is a bit of strategy that goes into replying to negative reviews in the finance industry. These reviews are often colorful, as those who feel they’ve been wronged, especially financially, aren’t likely to be polite when telling their story.
Take the time to explore the following five tips so that should the day come, you’ll be prepared to tackle a negative review with confidence and class.
Apologize and sympathize
Even if you believe a complaint is exaggerated, arguing is never the answer. Instead, apologize to the reviewer and sympathize with their situation.
But if something is untrue, or the reviewer perhaps misunderstood a caveat of your business, you can address the matter. Avoid blaming. Instead, write your response with future readers in mind. What might they want to know after reading the review? Do you really not answer the phone? Was your final bill higher than the quote? You can remain professional while still fighting defamation.
Make it personal and prompt
Respond to negative reviews as soon as possible. If you’re feeling upset about the review, let yourself cool down before typing. Ideally, all reviews should be responded to within 48 hours.
Avoid “copy and paste” responses. Instead, take the time to reply to every review personally.
Put a positive spin on your response
Look at every negative review as an opportunity to market your business. Instead of saying, “We’re sorry your insurance claim wasn’t handled in the time frame you were promised,” try instead saying, “We’re normally known for our quick and painless claims process, and we apologize you didn’t receive our standard treatment.”
Both responses give the reader the same message, but one showcases your business in a positive light.
Watch your wording
While you should always put a positive spin on a negative review response, avoid using your company name or other keywords that could lead to your review showing up in a Google search.
Take the issue offline
Now that you’ve addressed the basics of the review and shown your dedication to providing exceptional experiences for all your customers, it’s time to take the discussion offline. Leave your name, title, and contact information and invite the reviewer to reach out.
Still not sure how to respond to a negative finance review? Here’s a great example:
This response was written with both the reviewer and future readers in mind. It doesn’t point blame at the client, but it does offer information to answer any questions a future reader may have about how business is conducted. The review is personal and invites the reviewer to take their conversation offline. It feels authentic, empathetic, and professional.
How to Get More (And Better) Reviews
Studies show that responding to reviews, both negative and positive, has a direct impact on your business’ overall rating. While you work to prevent negative reviews, putting some effort into gaining more positive reviews is always beneficial. Here are a few tips to help you boost your positive scores.
You can’t expect positive reviews if you’re not doing the work to earn them. Everything you do needs to be better than the competition and if you promise clients a service or feature, you need to deliver as promised every time, for every client.
Ask for them
There’s nothing wrong with asking for a review. Just make sure you do so at the right time. If a client is thrilled with your service or product, ask them for an honest review right on the spot. If you’re not comfortable with this, you can ask indirectly by making sure you include a link in your marketing emails and newsletters for reviews.
Respond to them
Clients are more likely to leave reviews if they see they’ll be acknowledged. Encourage them by responding to all reviews, both positive and negative. If someone has taken the time to write a review, especially a positive one, don’t ignore them.
We’re not sure if all press is good press, but we are sure that every review is an opportunity to reach out to your target audience. Once you know how to respond to a negative review, you’ll see how you can use your response to market your business and brand.