Getting a negative review of your business can really sting, but you don't want to let the emotions you feel in that moment cause you to ignore the issue. You also don't want to respond in a way that causes your business to appear less than professional, or indicates that you're not serious about customer service. Rather than take the risk of one of those things happening, take a moment to really think about what the review said. Is any part of it accurate? Is there a specific reason for the reviewer's anger or negativity? Addressing the review the right way is important, and YES, you should respond to any negative reviews you receive.
Because opportunity knocks only once. A negative review can be a great opportunity to correct a wrong, and to regain a customer or even gain more customers because of the professional and caring way you handled an issue. When you reach out to someone who has given your company a negative review, you have the chance to start a dialogue between two people who have a disagreement, or who see things from different perspectives. Not only could you really learn something about a customer and how they feel about a business practice, but you could show other customers how your business handles conflict.
Part of the reason customers buy from you is because you treat them well. So if they have a bad experience, they may not come back. Naturally you want to avoid letting that happen. Among the best ways to keep customers satisfied even if they have a poor experience with your store is to let them know you're sorry they were upset. Offer to make it right, or at least make sure they understand that you're hearing them. Many customers aren't angry that things went wrong. They understand that things can happen. But what does make them angry is when a company doesn't seem to care that things went wrong.
Being treated well really matters, and when a company either does that from the very beginning or focuses on making a wrong right again, customers are much more likely to come back and buy from the company again. Your company can (and should) be one of the companies that focus on customer treatment. Anyone can offer a good selection or really low prices, but if the customers aren't being treated well they aren't likely to come back. When those customers say something negative about you, show you care about how they feel and reach out to them when they write a negative review.
One of the things that companies need to be aware of is that negative reviews may not always be completely accurate. Some customers will go over the top with the things they find "wrong," while other customers stick to the honest facts. But either way, it's important to make sure that negative reviews are answered. Companies that defend themselves tend to perform better, but the defenses have to be realistic, open, and honest. In short, if you made a mistake with a customer you need to take ownership of it. But if there is truly incorrect information, correct it professionally in your answer, and back it up with facts.
By focusing on the facts and paying careful attention to what the customers are really saying in their negative reviews, it's easier for you to make your company look good when you answer those reviews. It may not be easy sometimes, especially if you feel the review is very unfair, but the more professional you stay the better off your company will be in responding to reviews. There are not always ways to please every customer, but you can go much farther toward that if you're honest and responsive when negative reviews are posted.