When someone search your name online or your business name, you want only positive things and glowing reviews to show up. Unfortunately, that is not all the time the case.
There are tremendous opportunities for purchasers to share their experiences with businesses, and this can include their complaints.
Of course, reviews can even be useful for your business. People tend to trust other customer reviews, and it is a free and effective piece of your marketing.
But what do you do to manage negative online reviews? How you handle this can be just as important as the rest you do in marketing.
1. Monitor Your Business Name
There are many places a customer can leave reviews for your businessand you can set up Google Alerts to receive notifications anytime they’re mentioned online.
You want to regularly monitor the internet and see what people are saying about your business, not only to catch negative reviews but also so you know what you do well and what you can improve.
You all the time want to be proactive.
There are media monitoring tools you can use so you know you are looking at reviews and conversation about your businesseven if not directly posted on social media or your website.
For example, people might go to Twitter to complain a few business but not tag the company. Media monitoring tools will also pick up those conversations and notify you so you can reply in a timely manner.
Trying to manually search for all the mentioned brands for your business is time consuming.
2. Don’t Delete It
If you get a negative review about something you control, like your Facebook page or website, resist the urge to remove it.
There are many reasons removing negative reviews is a bad idea.
First, you need to bear in mind of what’s being said about you, and you need to take steps to fix the problem and the customer relationship. If you remove negative feedback, the message you are sending to customers is that you do not care about their feedback.
If people see you have removed a review, even if it wasn’t from them, they will see you as less reliable and transparent.
There are already 30% of consumers who consider an online review to be fake if they see nothing negative. If you have 100% positive reviews, it will not look genuine. It’s impossible to please everybody, and most customers do, so they expect at least a few bad reviews to interfere.
Negative feedback can in fact provide you with a chance. When you defend a review and respond appropriately, you can show that you are committed to the customer experience.
You can use feedback as a chance to turn someone who is unhappy with you into a loyal customer, and you may have the ability to turn the entire situation into something that has a long-term positive impact on your business.
3. Calm Before You Respond
Now that you know you need to save the negative review before doing the rest, take a deep breath. Don’t respond out of emotion or anger. Give yourself a couple of minutes to decide how you’ll respond. You must be level-headed and experienced.
This is also when you’ll decide if the review really needs a response.
Most of the time, negative reviews require a response.
There are times when they’re goofy, vicious, or more like a trolling, in which case you can possibly just ignore them.
If someone wrote a totally wrong review, you might have the ability to delete it. This will be the rare time you’ll need to remove it if it’s on a platform you control.
Otherwise, if what the person posted is legit, and true or mainly true, then you will prepare a response.
4. Gather Facts
You need to be tactful when responding to negative reviews, and to do this, you need facts.
Review the situation if you’re available and if not, get input from the people who are. Try to get a feel for the situation as a whole.
5. Reply Publicly and Privately
It’s a good rule of thumb to reply to reviews publicly and privately.
You want to respond publicly because you want people to know that you take reviews seriously, responsively, and committed to customers. In your public message, address the person’s legitimate concerns and briefly outline constructive steps you would take to correct them or stop this from happening again.
Never fight in public.
Then, once you have responded publicly, send a private message to follow up and ensure the customer sees your response. Let them know that they’re free to contact you directly if there’s the rest you can do to improve the situation.
You can even ask that if the person feels you have resolved the situation, they update their review to reflect that. You should not ask them to change it—only to edit it to reflect the steps you took.
Never ask someone to delete their review.
6. Work on Building More Positive Reviews
Again, it is normal to have occasional bad reviewsbut you all the time want to focus on getting as much positive as possible.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to leave a review when they’re proud of your business. About 70% of shoppers will leave a review when you ask, according to research.
That way, you will get quite a lot of good reviews that will outshine the bad reviews, but still give people a good overview of what it is like to work with your business.
7. Thoroughly Consider Reviews
Finally, when someone gives you a bad review, do not just mince words and say you will take care of it. Actually, incorporate your bad reviews into the build positive change in your business. They can be a valuable tool if you use them the right way.