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Marketing Tips: How To Respond To Negative Online Reviews

Posted by Brandon Choquette on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 @ 01:34 PM

response to negative reviewsOnline reputation can be difficult to manage. Today, with so many consumers posting, reading, and sharing online reviews of local businesses on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and Foursquare, it is critical for every business owner to actively manage and monitor online reviews, which are a major factor in shaping reputation. So what should you do when you get a bad online review? How should you respond when your reputation is on the line? Here are some tips to help you handle the situation.

A Bad Review Doesn’t Have To Spell Disaster

A few negative reviews can give your good reviews a ring of truth. On top of that-- no business is perfect, though business owners strive to be. Having nothing but positive reviews may lead consumers to question the authenticity of your reviews.

Still, too many negative reviews or comments are going to create a problem for your business. Let’s take a look at how you can make your online reviews work for your business — instead of against it.

Don’t Bother Trying To Hide Bad Reviews

Any request to remove a complaint triggers an investigation, which includes contacting the user who posted the review. Trying to bury a complaint with positive reviews supplied by paid marketers won't work either.

Online reputation management companies generally try to bury bad reviews by boosting the search rankings of more positive information about a company. Tactics include publishing a series of online releases filled with positive news about the business and creating micro-Websites about a business's products as a way to divert online search results from the negative reviews.

Listen and Learn

Negative reviews and comments can be extremely frustrating, especially when customers seem to blow the situation out of proportion; however, it is important to keep a level head and try to see things from the customer's point of view.

The first step to mitigating a negative review is publicly acknowledging you’ve made a mistake — even if you don’t feel that you have — and apologizing. Resist the temptation to pick an argument or try to explain that things didn’t really happen the way the reviewer says, because it’s not going to win you any points.

Then, offer to mend the situation in whatever way you can. If the customer is unhappy with a service or product, offer to replace it.

Using Negative Reviews To Boost Your Business

There is a silver lining to even the most degrading reviews. Remember: Every negative review is a chance to improve your service - both for the reviewer and your future customers.

No matter how large or how small, the feedback you glean from your reviews should be shared throughout your business. Beyond making sure everyone’s on the same page to prevent future problems, it lets your entire team know that excellent customer experience is your highest priority — and given how quickly social networks can spread a negative customer experience — it definitely should be!

Bad reviews can help you be more competitive. At this point, you may be wondering, "how?” Well, they provide you with an opportunity to prove your critics wrong. More importantly, they remind you to stay competitive. By monitoring online reviews - yours and that of your competitors- you get an idea of where you are and how well your business is doing. You can also look at aggregated ratings and analyze the data to see how you can gain an edge over your rivals.

Encourage More User Reviews

Managing the negative reviews is one part of the battle. In order to maintain your online reputation, you should encourage reviews from your satisfied customers in order to balance out the negative. Satisfied customers don't usually take time to review you online unless you make an effort to remind them. Make it as easy as possible for customers to review your business.

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Topics: marketing tips, Yelp, negative reviews, online reputation

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