Building a business in any environment is hard. It can be even more challenging today; all organizations are under a microscope due to the ease of completing and sharing an online review. While a good online review can be great for a business, a bad one can be detrimental. If your business receives a bad online review, there are ways to mitigate the damage. Here are seven tips to follow when it comes to dealing with negative reviews.
Bad Reviews Don’t Equal Bad Business
If your business has received a bad review, it is important to remember that this is not necessarily a reflection of your business as a whole. All employees, customers and other stakeholders can have a bad day or moment. This could end up resulting in a bad experience for the customer. While it is easy to feel down or discouraged because of this incident, don’t be too hard on yourself. As long as you are doing the best that you can, you should feel satisfied.
Respond to Them
When you read a negative review online, you likely will have the opportunity to respond. When you do respond to a review, stay calm, kind and don’t be too defensive. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 hours before you respond to a negative review. This cool-off time will prevent you from being too emotional. Podium points out that if you believe that a review is fake or inappropriate, you can take steps to flag it and have it reviewed by Google for removal. Try not to make your response personal or too long; instead, stay polite and businesslike and get right to the point.
Take the Opportunity to Advertise
When you are looking to respond to a negative review online, you should also use it as an opportunity to advertise and market your business. The fact is people who are checking out your business will be drawn to a negative review and tend to pay attention to it even more so than a good review. Whenever you are discussing a past experience, you should use it as a chance to discuss new products or services that you are offering. This can include discussing current promotions. As people are reading your response, this could get them excited about new offering and increase the chances that they return to your business in the future. This is also a good chance to improve public perception of your brand.
Offer to Make it Right
When you respond to any negative reviews, you should also offer to make it right. While apologizing is a good option, you should also consider offering to refund their money or offer them a discount in the future. CPC Strategy explains that if someone was unhappy with their meal, invite them in for a free dinner on the house, and put your best chef on it. If their shirt arrived with a tear in the sleeve, send a replacement one — and do it ASAP. In these situations, it might make sense to take the conversation offline. This will allow you to be more open and honest with them as you try to improve their overall customer experience.
Encourage Positive Reviews
While a negative review can be a potentially bad thing for a business, a positive review can be a very good thing. Small Business Trends explains that when you are looking to improve your online reputation, you should encourage satisfied customers to post positive reviews. You should make it easy for them to do so by having links to Yelp, Google and other websites when they are shopping online. By getting more positive reviews of your business posted online, it can make a negative review seem like the rare occurrence that it, hopefully, truly is.
Ask for Real Feedback
One of the challenges that comes with poor online reviews is that they are often emotional and vague. This can make it very hard for a business owner to fully understand what the problem was. While you do not want to be too pushy, you should still try and get to the core of the issue. Whether it is that they received poor customer service, did not receive the product that they were promised or are experiencing any other type of frustration, you will need to know what happened that lead to the negative review. This can then help you to start moving forward.
Ultimately, the worst thing that you can do after getting a negative review is to dwell on it for too long. Zbigniew Gecis explains that as a business owner, you need to be able to be flexible and make changes quickly. Because of this, you need to keep in mind what you learned from the negative review and figure out ways to improve your business going forward. This should help you to avoid getting more negative reviews in the years to come.
If you find negative reviews of your business, you may initially be very stressed and concerned. While a bad review never directly help a business, there are ways that any business can bounce back and minimize potential damage. These are seven tips that should be followed when it comes to dealing with negative reviews.
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