By: Liam Shannon on February 23rd, 2021

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How Logistics Companies Can Respond to Negative Reviews

Logistics | Transportation | Best Practices | Freight Management | Freight Broker

More than likely, your logistics organization has received a negative online review. For freight brokerages specifically, bad reviews might be a result of pay discrepancies between an agent and a carrier. That unexpected blasting of your company can be brutal. And thorough. A real punch to the gut.

negative-reviewFor better or worse, online reviews are all the rage. Applied to both consumer and businessbehavior, the experiences and opinions of others impact how we consider and purchase products and services. Gaining insight into those decisions drives our ability to make choices for ourselves. This is especially true in an increasingly digital world where we are more limited in our ability to experience products and services before buying them.

Since online reviews aren't going away any time soon, how can businesses like yours navigate receiving and responding to negative feedback?

This post will cover what is happening in your customers' minds when they read and write online reviews. We'll also provide some tips for responding to negative reviews. Combine this knowledge and apply it to your organization to help improve your online presence!

Reading Hearts and Minds

reading-a-bad-reviewGenerally, people are more affected by negative experiences than positive ones. If your kids behave like angels before you leave the house in the morning, your day feels like it's off to a good start. Now, imagine – maybe not that hard – that they're behaving like tiny terrorists. It's enough to put a chunk of your day in a tailspin. Why? 

Blame your brain. It's divided into two hemispheres. Positive experiences are processed on one side, and negative experiences on the other. Negative experiences are processed more thoroughly than positive experiences, so they tend to be more dramatic and urgent than many of our positive emotions. 

The person writing the negative review experiences negativity similarly to the person reading the review. When customers experience negative interactions with organizations, they are more likely to be consumed by that interaction for longer than if the engagement was positive. People also appreciate the opportunity to speak their minds and influence others, making them more likely to share their sentiments online.   

Unless you're the target of internet trolling, negative reviews shouldn't be dismissed. Instead, consider how many positive reviews can offset one negative review and what your organization needs to do to help drive that balance. 

When the negative review hits…

  • Checklist_detailDo Not Delete. The first action is noaction: do not delete the review. Deleting negativereviews implies many things, none of them positive: guilt, inability to receive andprocess constructive feedback, dishonesty, and even laziness. You'll likely anger your customers more by simply deleting reviews they spent time writing. 
  • Answer Promptly. It doesn't need to be thorough, nor does it need to be "the" answer solving all issues. A short, meaningful acknowledgment is sufficient. Worded correctly, it shows you care and value your customers and their feedback.   
  • Respond professionally. This is easier to do if the critique itself is professional. However, what is the review is personal, full of exaggerations, misunderstandings, and the occasional bare-faced lie? In that case, the content of the review is irrelevant. The professionalism in your response should be completely unaffected by the content of the message you receive. Indeed, consider that the harsher, nastier, and more bizarre the critique, the greater the contrast with your objective. 
  • Show compassion and empathy. Displaying compassion and empathy are two of the most humanizing traits we have. Both are appropriate to exhibit in any encounter – especially when someone is upset or even being unreasonable. 
  • Take it private. Assuming you've responded online in a professional, concise and caring manner, there is nothing to be gained from continuing your online discussion in full view of the world. Invite the individual to contact a specific person in your organization to continue working through the issue. 

You have now successfully dealt with the body blow of the ruthless and surprise attack on your competence and character. Congratulations! Now on to stage two: processing the review and determining how to use it for improvement. 

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

customer-satisfactionRegardless of your detractor's brashness or anger, try to look past the delivery and evaluate the actual message. Is the issue legitimate and worthy of a more in-depth response? Or is the problem invalid – possibly ridiculous – but the review writer deserves your attention? 

Assuming the complaint is legitimate, and you have calmed your verbal-attacker, you've still got work to do: 

  • Welcome the opportunity to improve from feedback. Your goal should not just be to appease an individual and move on but to advance yourself and your business.   
  • Take tangible action. Use the – hopefully constructive – feedback to evaluate current processes and problem-solve within your organization. Assess whether there is an underlying cause to the issue and determine how you can address it.  
  • Assign responsibility. Your treatment of employee mistakes sets a tone for your working environment. Are you in a position to help correct errors and advise on preferred courses of action? Be sure your employees have the tools they need to succeed. Likewise, effective managers know how to balance constructive feedback and recognizing a job well done. Be sure to catch your employees doing great work, too! 

Want to Learn More? 

People and businesses aren't perfect. While we all want glowing assessments validating our hard work and enterprise, that's not reality. Consumers appreciate balance. All-positive reviews don't help customers understand how a product or service can meet their specific needs. Similarly, all-positive reviews leave little room for improvement – and we can all stand to improve.  

IMG_7253-minAt Armstrong, our mission is to find more ways to say 'yes' to our customers through outstanding service and innovative technology. We'll be the first to say that we're not always perfect. But we value our customers and employees – deeply. We've learned to apply positive change toward the initial sting of a negative review through the years. We embrace a culture of learning and recognize that sometimes falling short is the only path to real success. 

Are you interested in joining the Armstrong team or doing business with us in the future? Contact us today to get a conversation started!