How to manage bad customer reviews when there are so many places they can come from?

Key takeaways:

  • Managing bad customer reviews from multiple channels poses challenges.
  • Manual tracking is insufficient for handling diverse responses effectively.
  • Inconsistency arises due to the absence of a clear process for addressing reviews.
  • Employing a customer journey map facilitates an organized response strategy.
  • This entails categorizing scenarios, assigning responsibilities, and offering tailored solutions for each channel.

No company wants to make their customers feel unheard or even ignored – yet that’s what happens when there are just too many communication channels for the company to look after and no process in place to monitor and take care of them. All social media profiles, social media posts where the company profile wasn’t tagged, review websites, emails, and many others. 

Sure, you can simply list them in a text document and have someone periodically check them. If it was this simple, a large portion of the customer care industry would be rendered redundant and we would have to come up with a different topic to write about.

But we all know that’s not how it is – the tracking of the customer interactions we’ve mentioned above can be taken care of, albeit manually and thus not very effectively either – but never mind for now. The big problem comes in the next step: how to deal with these interactions. Which are the ones you’ll answer with a simple thank you, which ones will get an apology with the promise of doing better next time, which ones should be escalated (and then, to whom exactly), who will be the people in charge of all this, what would be the methods of following up (not all communication channels, especially review websites allow you to answer more than once) and so on?

We’ll borrow the theme we’ve been using a lot in our blog posts: It’s a mess. And a pretty serious one – if the company isn’t able to answer all the compliments and good reviews, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But having customers writing things that can very well serve as an instant turn-off for a substantial portion of your potential customers who decided to research your brand before the purchase – that certainly is a big deal.

It’s difficult to imagine there will be employees in the company with enough willpower to deal with each of them on a case-by-case basis – since there’s no game plan, there would have to be a lot of figuring things out on the go, improvisation, and talking to multiple different coworkers within the company each time. Resolving all the issues and points the customers raise online therefore remains only a wish.

So what would the ideal game plan for addressing this look like? We don’t have to guess or make anything up because it already exists and is called the customer journey map. It will help you to explicitly describe the whole buying experience and everything that comes before and after that, but describing it all is beyond the scope and the topic of this article. Let’s stay with the post-purchase experience which is what we’ve been discussing until now – or more precisely, the post-purchase experience of those who encountered something they needed to share publicly.

Step number one is clear: List all the communication channels your customers may use to write or talk about you. It’s step number two that makes the difference – addressing all the scenarios and specifying who’s responsible. 

Did we get a bad review on Trustpilot? Look for the customer in our database. If we can’t identify him, answer him and ask for his order number. Check the problem – if it was our fault, contact him directly and offer him a coupon code for 30% discount on the next purchase in exchange for him deleting the review. If the review is one star, offer him money back, too. If there was a problem but not caused by us, contact him directly, explain the situation, and offer him a 15% discount on the next purchase in exchange for deleting the review. If he doesn’t accept, write the explanation in the public response to the review.

And so on. Every communication channel is different and has a different priority or value, and you can consider that when crafting the game plan for each. 

A customer journey map helps you to keep this organized because the number of communication channels and other activities (if you decide to dive into the CJM entirely) grows very fast.

Do you want to create an interactive and easy-to-use customer journey map with powerful touchpoints, personas, automatic KPI import & monitoring, and much more?

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