A good word goes a long way, but that online review? Well, that might last forever.
Aside from living on in online infamy, customer reviews have the power to either positively or negatively impact your business. In fact, for 9 in 10 consumers, an online review is just as good as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member, and nearly 90% will hesitate to choose your business if it has negative reviews. Since there’s no avoiding them, and certainly no deleting them, how can your business handle your negative reviews? We’ve gathered a few tips and best practices below to help you feel better equipped to handle the good and the bad that may come your way. Check them out below:
Make Sure To Respond To The Negative Reviews
While many business owners assume that the best course of action is to not engage with their negative reviews, it’s far better to respond to them. With a whopping 97% of consumers now researching products and services online before making a purchase decision, you want to make sure your online reputation accurately reflects the quality of your business – as well as the quality of your customer service. Responding also means that even if a potential customer does come across that negative review, they’ll see that you made an attempt to rectify the situation and that you prioritize customer satisfaction. Way to turn a negative into a positive!
Avoid A Standard Copy/Paste Response
For better and for worse, that negative review, as well as your response, will be viewable by all, and while a standard response may seem like the safe route, it’ll look like you aren’t taking the time to really hear out your customers or engage with them in a meaningful way. A thoughtful, more personalized response will let your customers know that there’s a real person on the other side of the screen who cares about their experience, and who is willing to help make it right.
Keep It Professional And Polite
We know negative reviews can feel personal, but remember: you’re representing your business and your brand on a public platform. Rather than go on the defensive, take a deep breath and keep your response professional and polite. Sure, the customer may have been upset at the time, but you now have a second chance to change how they perceive your business with a kind word and some stellar customer service.
Take It Offline
In your response, it’s always a good idea to offer to take it offline and out of the public eye. This will limit any back and forth while you’re getting the details on the customer’s negative experience and also help ensure that the negative review doesn’t inadvertently land at the top of your review page.
Consider leaving your email address or a customer service number they can contact to sort out the details and reach a resolution.
Don’t Stop Encouraging Your Customers To Leave Online Reviews
Don’t let a bad review scare you away from asking your customers to rate your business online. The positive reviews will go a long way towards promoting your business, and the negative reviews will give you a unique opportunity to re-engage with a customer you may have otherwise lost. It’s also a great way to keep a pulse on customer satisfaction, and to keep an eye out for recurring issues you might not have been aware of.
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