Corona: How can I reduce poor reviews caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Corona pandemic and COVID-19 have changed all our lives. Online trade is booming, which benefits shops with the Trusted Shops Trustmark and the eTrusted review platform. However, the number of negative reviews is increasing at the same time. This is mainly due to the fact that deliveries often take longer than usual, therefore customers are frustrated and give reviews with only one or two stars.

In this article we give tips on how to tackle the problem and reduce the number of negative reviews.

Use COVID-19 email template for review invites 

We have a new version of our optimised questionnaire templates, which includes an additional reference to COVID-19 and the possible delays in delivery that this may cause.

To remind customers to take into account the current situation which is unusual for all of us, you can use the new templates.

This is how the review invite looks with the COVID-19 template:


You will find the new template "Optimised email template (COVID-19)" in the selection menu "Email template" in the setup dialog for new invite rules.

1. Define new "COVID-19" rule

Follow the steps below to create a new invite rule for COVID-19:

  1. In the main navigation, click on "Automation" under the heading "Account". There, switch to the second tab "Invite rules" at the top.
  2. Click on "Add new rule" and assign a name (e.g. "COVID-19")
  3. Set the desired values and select the new COVID-19 email template "Optimised email template (COVID-19)"). If you also want to show a hint about the Corona pandemic in the questionnaire, select the "Standard" or "Extended Questionnaire Template (COVID-19)" as your questionnaire template.
  4. If needed, select a delivery delay of more than seven days (more information on this can be found in the following section) and click on "Save".


2. Activate new invite rule

Once you have added the new COVID-19 rule, you still need to activate the new rule. This separate step has the advantage that you can switch back and forth between different rules quickly and at any time. To activate the new rule, proceed as follows:

  1. In the main navigation switch to the menu "Invites" and then to the second tab "Invite rules".
  2. Activate the new invite rule by switching the toggle (Switch-Active.svg) to the right.

You will receive a notification that the new rule is now active. The previous rule is automatically deactivated.

Adjust sending delay

As part of creating your new invite rule for the COVID-19 pandemic time, you may consider increasing the number of days until the review invite is sent.

By default, the sending delay is set to seven days after the order is received ("Checkout" event). If you know that it currently takes 10 days or more for customers to receive their goods, you can set the sending delay to 10 days or more in the setup dialogue of your new COVID-19 rule . 

Review invites that you have planned before activating the new rule will be sent according to the previously set "old" delivery delay.

We recommend that you keep an eye on incoming reviews and readjust the sending delay if shipments take longer or less time than you thought. In our experience, there is less motivation to submit a review if the review invite arrives significantly later than the delivery it refers to.

In these articles you will find further information:
- How to send invites to my customers automatically?
- How to effectively collect reviews?

Respond positively to negative reviews

If you still receive reviews with only one or two stars, in which the customer complains that their goods have not arrived at all or arrived too late, you can do the following:

1. Check delivery status

First check whether the goods have arrived in the meantime or where they are at the moment. If the goods are still in transit, you can, for example, contact the customer and ask them to be patient. Create a reminder and wait 2 or 3 days, then check again whether the goods have arrived yet.

2. Ask customers to update their review

As soon as the goods have arrived, you can contact the customer again and suggest them to update their review. In our help section we explain how customers can edit a review they have already submitted. You are welcome to forward this link to your customers.

Please remember that it is not permitted to induce customers to submit, change or delete a review by offering vouchers, discounts or other benefits.

3. Reply to the review

If your customer does not update their review, you still have the option to respond to the review and explain the situation. Thank them for their order and show that you are dealing with the situation in a professional manner. Other customers will read your response and form an opinion about your shop based on it.

Stay healthy!

Find out more about how to react properly to negative reviews here:
4 tips on how to react to negative reviews.

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