Let’s face it – consumers rely on the opinions of others when they are about to make a purchasing decision. Nowadays, the easiest and fastest way to scope out people’s take on a business is reading the company’s customer reviews. This is why platforms like Yelp, Angie’s List, and TripAdvisor are so relevant for the consumer and so crucial for business owners.
Positive reviews can really drive up business, while negative reviews can stop things in their tracks. It’s safe to say that no one wants to deal with negative reviews, but unfortunately, they are inevitable. Your business cannot possibly satisfy every customer 100 percent of the time. So instead of dreading them, here are a few helpful tips on how you can deal with them when they occur.
Monitor your Online Presence
In order to respond to reviews, you must first be aware of what reviews you have received. Constantly monitoring your online presence is key to dealing with negative reviews. It will give you a framework to work with.
Some tools you can use to keep up with your online presence include: Social Mention, Reputology, Review Trackers, and Google Alerts.
Companies should never ignore negative reviews. On the contrary, negative reviews need to be addressed as swiftly as possible. The sooner you respond to a negative review, the more you show you truly value your customers’ opinions.
Responding to negative reviews is also an opportunity for your company to extend an invitation for a second chance to the customer, who unfortunately had a negative experience with your company, brand, or service the first go around.
Tackle the Issue Offline
Some negative reviews deserve to be handled offline as opposed to being worked ou in front of the rest of the world. It’s up to the company or business to decide what’s best.
If it happens to be a delicate situations where things can turn sour or personal pretty quickly, perhaps it’s better to contact the reviewer privately via email or phone. Once you resolve the matter privately, you can always go back to the negative review and leave a brief comment for the public to read.
Always Be Polite
Negative reviews can sometimes get under your skin. But regardless of what the review says, keep it polite and professional.
Consumers who read reviews can often times give businesses a second chance when they notice how well the business handled the ticked-off customer. So remember, being the bigger person can lead to new future customers.
Do Not Allow Defamatory Reviews
Most consumer rating platforms do not allow businesses to remove reviews. However, if there is a review that is more defamatory than helpful you can certainly request the site to take it down.
Remember, negative reviews are totally normal and unavoidable. Your company is not defined by the number of negative reviews, but by they way it handles the feedback.