Managing Negative Business Reviews
May 31, 2016
Nowadays, consumers often rely on the opinions of others when it comes to making a purchase. Online reviews are the backbone of these opinions. It seems as if every one has one and every one is willing to share. For businesses, reviews can go one of two ways – either they can propel sales and increase your brand’s reputation (think the greatest form of flattery) OR they can adversely impact business and drive down your listing on consumer sites. Although the negatives seem frightening, there are various ways to manage the reviews and make the best out of a potentially bad situation.
Stay Ahead of the Curve – As a business, you should be monitoring your online presence. It’s advantageous to know what customers are saying and where they are saying it – Yelp? Google? Look into Social Mention, Review Trackers, Google Alerts, etc. they are all great tools to help you monitor your reputation.
Respond Promptly and Be Polite – So it happens, you come across a bad review. First things first, don’t panic! Thoroughly read the review and collect your thoughts. Responding quickly shows the customer that you care and value their opinion. Thank them for their valued feedback and invite them to reach out to you at their earliest convenience. Speaking to them individually will allow you to get a better grasp of their thoughts and if necessary, provide them with restitution.
Encourage, Encourage, Encourage – Although negative reviews can be disheartening at times, don’t give up! Keep encouraging customers that you know had a great experience to leave a review. Subtlety goes a long way. Think about either including a note in an invoice/receipt asking customers to take the time to leave a review. You can also include website badges on your site that link to specific review pages.
Keep Employees in the Loop –All employees play a vital role in providing impeccable customer service. Whenever you do receive a negative review, make sure that everyone is aware. This will help prevent similar incidences and also ensure that customer service is at the forefront of their minds.
The truth is, we are all human and mistakes are bound to happen. However, if handled properly, negative reviews can be turned into a beneficial learning experience. In the next post, we’ll further investigate (with examples) the different routes you can take when determining how to respond. Just remember, there is a light at the end of every tunnel!