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21430 N. 15th Lane, Suite 114

Phoenix, AZ 85027

Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

How to Handle a Negative Customer Review
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How to Handle a Negative Customer Review

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Your day is going great. You got into your workspace earlier than usual, grabbed that vanilla latte you had been craving on the way + sit down at your desk to start work.


When you see it.


A negative customer review that makes your stomach sink + your palms sweaty.


A multitude of things might be running through your head like…


“How many people have seen this?”


“How can I solve this?”


“Why on Earth did X influence Z?”


“Dang it, I need to find her order so I can get a hold of her.”


“This can never happen again or my business is doomed...doomed!”


And the list likely goes on.


But we’re here to say that you will live through it and it happens to even the best of us. So take a few deep, calming breaths and prepare to resolve the situation. After all, at the end of the day all you can do is your best.


How to Handle a Negative Customer Review:


1. Respond in a Timely Manner

When responding to a negative customer review, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing so in a timely manner so it doesn’t look like you don’t care or are brushing them off. When responding, make sure you show empathy towards the situation, ask any questions you may need upfront (such as their order number or shipping address) and apologize.


Lastly, take the conversation outside of the public eye, it’s important to do step #1 wherever they posted, but the rest of how you handled the situation should stay private so future customers don’t attempt to take advantage.


People respond best to people and once you humanize the situation, it’s likely that they might take a step back and allow you to resolve the situation calmly.


2. Offer a Resolution

This one varies depending on what the situation was, but offering a resolution to their issue is a small act of  great customer service that pays off big in the long run. Item arrive later than anticipated? Give them a 20% off code towards their next purchase. Item arrive broken? Offer to send them a new one + a full refund. As aforementioned, you can only do your best, but for most of us your best is enough.


3. Ask Them to Reconsider Their Review

Once the situation has been resolved, kindly ask them to reconsider their review. Mentioning that you’re a small business whose reviews greatly influence your customer base and that you hope to give them nothing but positive experiences in the future, while again apologizing for the original issue.


4. Send a Card

If re-sending a package, include the card in the package or if it’s something that can be resolved without re-sending product, send them a card in the mail letting them know what a valued customer they are.


5. Take a Deep Breath

And lastly, take a deep breath, business owner. At the end of the day, you’ve done the best you can and had a lesson to learn from! Go forth and show the world what you’re made of.



Would you add something to this list? Have you experienced a negative customer review? How would you handle it? Let us know in the comments!

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