Negative online reviews can have a crippling effect on a business’s reputation. With the rise of digital media, it has become increasingly easy for customers to share their experiences, both positive and negative. While positive reviews can help to boost a business’s reputation, negative reviews can be particularly damaging and can even lead to a decrease in customers.
In the age of digital media, it’s more important than ever for businesses to be aware of how customers are reacting to their services. Negative online reviews can not only be damaging to a business’s reputation, but they can also provide valuable feedback. As such, it’s important for businesses to know how to respond to negative online reviews in order to mitigate potential damage and turn the situation around.
It’s important to respond online to every review your business receives. It shows that you are on top of things as a business owner, are professional and care for your customers.
Especially when responding to negative online reviews you need to remain professional and courteous – whether it was your businesses’ fault or not. Even if the customer’s review is full of insults and extremities, try to remain level headed. It’s important to remember that the customer is ultimately looking for a resolution and to have their grievances heard. As such, it’s best to respond to the customer in a polite and understanding manner.
The next step is to address the customer’s concerns. Demonstrate that you have heard the customer’s grievances and are willing to work towards a resolution. Offer an apology and a solution to the customer’s problem. This may include offering a refund, providing a discount on future services or even offering an exchange.
The final step is to thank the customer for their feedback. Demonstrate that you value their input and appreciate their willingness to share their experience. Showing appreciation for a customer’s feedback can go a long way in helping to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
Bear in mind too that your online review response may be different to when you actually approach your aggrieved customer. You may decide to do this – depending on the circumstances – in person or via phone, email or letter.
Turning It Positive
Hopefully your good proactive response to the negative review and dealings with the customer will lead to their changing their review to a positive one. All you can do is ask.
If despite your best efforts to sort the issue with your customer they remain negative, it’s time to move on. You’ve dealt promptly with the situation and you responded professionally in a public reply to the review.
Now get proactive with your regular customers, get them to review you on that same platform and bury the negative review. A load of positive reviews with one negative will not be taken seriously by potential customers, everyone knows there’s always that one person out there… And an automated system to get a consistent stream of reviews about your business is part of a marketing and local search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy that leading business online use.
Responding to negative online reviews can be a tricky process, but it’s an important part of maintaining a successful business. By remaining professional and courteous, addressing the customer’s concerns, and thanking them for their feedback, businesses can turn a negative situation into a positive one.