How to Respond to Bad Reviews of Your Online Boutique

MakersValley Blog | How to Respond to Bad Reviews of Your Online Boutique
Hannah Shulman

Hannah Shulman

If you sell clothes using an Amazon, Shopify, or Etsy shop, you have the ability to collect positive customer reviews of your products and service and use those reviews to promote your fashion brand. However, this also leaves you open to the possibility of receiving negative reviews.

While many shop owners dread reading a bad review on their product, bad reviews can actually be beneficial. 

For one, a potential customer might be skeptical if they only find positive reviews on your review page. If you only host good reviews, readers may second-guess the validity of those reviews. After all, no one is perfect. 

Of course, you always want to earn more positive reviews than negative. But, if you take the time to respond to negative reviews in the correct manner, you not only right the wrong that the customer details in their review, but you can also impress other possible customers in the process. 

When they see that your company cares about their customers and is willing to help anyone who has had a bad experience, they will be more likely to try out your product. So, here are five tips for tackling the response process.

1. Sympathize With the Customer Complaint

How to Respond to Negative Reviews of Your Online Store

You can sympathize with your customer by acknowledging that they are justified in their complaint. 

Don’t go on the defensive even if you know the customer is in the wrong. Remember: “The customer is always right”. Attach this cognizance of your customer’s frustration to an apology. This apology will make them more likely to follow up on the call to action that follows your apology- whether that be calling your customer service line or emailing a member of your team.

2. Take Your Customer Service Offline

Offer to resolve the customer’s problem by writing a phone number or email that they should reach for further assistance. 

While readers of your bad reviews are looking to see initiation on your part, they are not interested in reading the whole back and forth between you and the unhappy customer; that should remain offline.   How to Respond to Bad Reviews of Your Online Boutique_3

3. Keep It Friendly

It is important to maintain a friendly and polite tone. 

One way to do so is by positively framing all further communication on their part. “We would love to hear from you” and “we’re happy to discuss further” are great ways to reinforce that they –as the customer– are your top priority. For example, MakersValley responded to criticism by ending with: “We're always looking for ways to make things easier and more user-friendly for our Makers, so knowing where you got stuck will help us to help you!”

4. Don’t Copy and Paste Your Bad Review Responses

Individualize each message you send in response to a bad review. 

Even if you feel like you're repeating yourself, write unique responses to each dissatisfied customer. You show your customers that you appreciate their feedback when you take the time to write them a personalized response. Steer clear of a “Mad-libs” response.

5. Avoid Tempting Review Response Templates

There are many resources online that offer a template for responding to bad reviews. But, customers can quickly detect a template if your message is general and broad if they have seen a similar response elsewhere, or if they also visited the template website you used. 

Use tips you find online (such as these!) to form your own response. 

For a company to grow, it is important for them to view each critique and bad review as constructive and necessary. There is always room for improvement and hearing from your customers is a great way to know where to start.


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