Dealing with Negative Reviews

No business is perfect. We all make mistakes, and no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to please everyone. So, what do you do when a customer leaves a bad review online? As an online marketing company, we’ve dealt with this issue many times. We will provide some tips to help you through it.

First, it’s important to understand how important reviews are online. According to a study by Bright Local, 88 percent of consumers surveyed said they read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Even more shocking is that 88 percent of consumers surveyed said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

There’s no doubt online reviews carry weight, so you want to be sure your business is being represented in a positive light. Too many negative reviews could definitely hurt your bottom line. It’s also important to understand that reviews stick around. Even if it was posted years ago, it will still show online, and you can’t remove it.

Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with negative reviews:

Prevent negative reviews

It probably goes without saying, but you want to do all you can to avoid getting negative reviews in the first place. Make sure your business has clear policies and procedures and that all employees understand these fully. Focus on good customer service, and try to do whatever you can to work out any problems before customers have the chance to splash negative comments online. Of course, it may be impossible to avoid all negative comments. So when they arise, have a plan for tackling them head on to prevent ruining your company’s online reputation.

Reply to negative reviews

Any negative review warrants a response. The worst thing to do is simply ignore it and hope it goes away. As already mentioned, it won’t, so post a reply but don’t attack the customer or get defensive. Simply do what you can to resolve the issue. Usually, this will be done privately through an email, phone call or message. Try to get the problem resolved then leave a comment on the negative review stating what you’ve done to fix the issue.

Again, some customers get to a point where nothing will make them happy. In this case, just apologize saying you are sorry they were not fully satisfied with your services but hope they will give you a try again in the future. Just remember to keep your personal feelings out of the issue. It hurts getting a negative review, but it won’t help if you become defensive. If you need to clarify things, state the facts but don’t allow your emotions to take control.

Focus on positive reviews

Work on getting positive reviews for your business. If you have a customer that is happy with the product or service you provided, don’t be afraid to ask if they’ll leave a review for you online. A good way to solicit reviews is with a follow-up email to customers. Thank them for choosing your business, ask if there is anything else they need and provide some links to different review sites for your business. Even better, businesses can create a testimonials page on their website to post reviews from satisfied customers. If you have enough positive reviews, it can drown out any negative reviews that may pop up.

If you have more questions about reputation management for your business online, feel free to contact us. We can help monitor reviews, set up a testimonials page on your site and push down negative content showing in search engines.