Dealing With Negative Online Reviews
Most businesses would consider negative online reviews as bad for businesses. They would be correct. However dealt with correctly they can be used to improve your business and show potential customers that you take seriously issues they might have.
More and more people are using online platforms such as Google and Facebook to tell the world how badly the service they received from a business was. As well as general review sites there are niche review sites like Airbnb for accommodation reviews and Lawyers.com for legal reviews.
Responding To Poor Online Reviews
Stop and Think
Possibly the worst thing you can do when responding to a negative online review is “react”. Reacting is very different from responding.
Your fist reaction to a poor review is probably to be on the defensive and write a very defensive reply. You might try to tell the customer why they are wrong to give your business a bad review. But think about it for a few moments. It is unlikely they are writing a negative review because of some vendetta against you. Almost certainly they have, or feel they have, a genuine grievance.
So take a few moments so that your answer reflects a response and not a reaction.
Having just suggested that you take time before responding to a negative online review, you do not want to take days before replying. The online world works on a 24/7 basis. The longer you take to reply the more people will only hear one side of the story; the negative one. Check your reviews often and if possible use a reputation management system to keep up to date with reviews, good and bad.
Take it Offline
Having a back and forth discussion online is there for the whole world to follow – forever.
If possible ask the reviewer if they would allow you to e mail or call then to discuss the issue further or resolve an ongoing problem. If you do continue the conversation online be polite, professional and stay away from the blame game.
Once the issue has been resolved offline, leave a final statement online thanking the reviewer for allowing you to resolve the issue. That way anyone reading the review and responses know it has been resolved.
Encourage People to Leave Reviews
While you don’t want to encourage negative reviews, you do want to encourage reviews.
Use the negative one to help understand your customers and improve your business.
The positive reviews left by happy customers will promote your business and help encourage other potential customers to use your services or buy products from you
Encourage happy customers to leave reviews by using review management software which will also have the good reviews displayed on your site automatically.
Become an affiliate of this Reputation Management System and earn ongoing income.