If you are a business owner, chances are you know the power of online reviews. Some experts believe that nearly 80 percent of adults who use the internet check online reviews before they make a purchase or visit a business. But what about bad reviews? Most business owners are terrified of getting negative reviews, but the truth is that any review can be positive—even if it is negative. And dealing with negative online reviews is an essential part of your Denver digital marketing strategy.
Here’s what you should know about dealing with negative reviews.
to Do When Dealing With Negative Online Reviews
Get defensive. The way you react to a negative online review is important, and although it is natural to feel anger when someone criticizes your business. But getting defensive isn’t the answer. Before you respond when someone bashes your business, take some time to think things through rather than posting a knee-jerk response. Write out your response, then put it aside for review later when you aren’t so upset. Even if you believe the negative review came as a result of miscommunication, it’s crucial that you try to sound apologetic rather than defensive. And even if your business was in the right, be kind to the customer about it.
Get into a fight about it. People are often brave because of the relative anonymity afforded to them by the internet, and sometimes, when you respond to a negative review, they may continue to complain. Don’t get caught up in a battle of name-calling with an unhappy customer. If your responses are reasonable, despite the way this person is acting, readers of the review will see that you are dealing with someone who just wants to pick a fight. Don’t engage.
Ignore the review. Not responding to a negative review is almost as bad as posting an expletive-filled answer. The person who left the review will feel completely justified since you are clearly not addressing whatever issue they brought up. Not responding makes it look like you don’t care about customer service, and this is more harmful than the review itself. There are plenty of online review response templates
you can look at to get some ideas.
Beg for positive reviews to outweigh the negative ones. The best reviews are the ones that come about naturally from customers who are happy to gush about their experience with your business. If you have to beg for reviews, chances are they will not sound authentic, and this can do more harm than good.
What You Should Do When Dealing With Negative Online Reviews
Acknowledge and apologize. People who post negative online reviews want to be heard, so be sure to empathize with their situation. Your response should demonstrate that you genuinely care about their bad experience. Apologize without blaming the customer—even if they were in the wrong. Often an apology and explanation—and a way to fix the issue if possible—can mean a negative review changing into a positive one.
Be genuine. Whether it’s you responding to the negative review or an employee, always use real names (or a first name and last name initial) and make sure the response doesn’t sound canned. Whoever responds should explain their role in the business and provide a way to make contact via email or phone number. Taking the situation offline is a good way to avoid a heated exchange everyone can see. Posting a thoughtful response, then taking the situation online is usually the best way to handle it. It also shows that you are genuinely interested in rectifying things and not just apologizing for show.
Promote a positive image of your business in a tactful manner. Without sounding condescending, explain to the negative reviewer why their experience was an unusual one. Include some of your business’ strengths in your reply in an attempt to reframe things into a positive light. This way, the customer still feels heard—and you can talk about the pros of doing business with you.
How to Use Negative Reviews as a Learning Experience
Although most businesses dread negative reviews, this type of customer feedback can actually benefit your business. Negative reviews offer businesses insights into how they can improve their products and services. These include:
- Product improvement. Paying attention to common customer pain points tells you were you can fix issues. This not only means customers will like your products better, but they will view your business as a responsive one that cares about its customers.
- Reexamination of pricing strategy. If you find yourself getting complaints that your product or service is “not worth the money,” you might want to compare your prices to the competition and adjust accordingly.
- Enhancement of customer service. Customers who complain about slow shipping or an unsatisfactory customer service experience want to be heard—and other customers want to see how you react. If you handle the situation well, customers will see and appreciate this.
- Comparison of your products or services to your competitors’. With an understanding of how your product or service stands up to others, you can make needed improvements. If a negative review brings up another brand the reviewer may switch to, it’s worth your while to find out where your brand is lacking. Find out what the competition is doing differently—and ostensibly better—and this offers you an excellent opportunity to make your own customers’ experience better.
Don’t let negative online reviews upset you. Use them as an opportunity to grow and improve your product or service. Negative online reviews give you a chance to connect with customers, showing that you care about their experience.
Denver Website Designs
offers digital marketing strategy that will help ensure you put your business’ best face forward. Customers will be more likely to leave a positive review after they have a positive experience. And if you find negative reviews, we can help you use them to your advantage. Call (303) 997-1601 to talk about improving your business’ Denver content marketing and SEO strategy.