5 TIPS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE REVIEWS

A one star * review sends every business into a panic.

ake a step back, breathe and think before you respond harshly. We’d all love our social media and review sites to be filled with positive comments, but it’s hard to please every customer. You may think if you stay off social media you can avoid these comments and the talk about your company, but you can’t. Your customers are going to talk about your business online whether you have a social media presence or not.

 What you can control is how you interact with your customers after a bad review, and how to turn their negative experience into a positive one.

Why is it important to interact properly with online reviews? A 2016 study by BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey says it all:

  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation

  • 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business

  • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more

  • 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important

Follow these 5 simple steps to take control of the situation effectively and turn your unhappy customer into a loyal brand advocate.

1. LISTEN

You can’t respond to negative comments if you don’t know about them. While most complaints will come via your Twitter handle, Yelp or on your Facebook Page, many people don’t use these avenues and comment outside of your official properties. It’s therefore important to listen to what’s being said, and always read it twice to make sure you understand and there is no miscommunication.

2. TAKE IT OFFLINE

If the response is extremely personal or complex, don’t be afraid to take it offline. Ask for the customer to email or private message you with their contact information.

3.ALWAYS REPLY

Check your social sites daily, (or use a product like Revzi’s BrandIQ to notify you of new reviews). Set a reminder, make this apart of your daily routine. Respond to every GOOD + BAD review. Praising the positive and being empathetic towards the negative will help to improve business and bring more people through the door.

4. REPLY EFFICIENTLY

Although it’s important to take your time in crafting a suitable response, time is also of the essence. The longer you leave it, the more the complaint can snowball, with other customers joining in. If you don’t have an answer straight away, ensure you acknowledge the comment by saying you’re looking into it and then get back to them again as soon as you have a solution.

5. OWN UP TO YOUR MISTAKES

If you’re the one at fault, make sure you actually own up to it. Don’t make excuses. A simple sorry is sometimes all the customer is looking for. Keeping customers happy, and having other customers see you’re addressing the issue and maybe even taking fault will lead for a trust in the relationship and a return visit.

 Finally, if you are looking for a way to get rid of those bad reviews, try this method: reach out to the individual that left the review and offer a significant discount on their next visit or purchase with you. If they have a good experience on their next visit, it opens the door for you to ask them to update or remove their previous review.

Ann Ciambrone