Negative reviews online can seriously impact a business’s bottom line as more and more consumers are researching their purchases online – and complain when something didn’t go right or their way. Having an action plan and strategy for dealing with negative reviews is something every business should have in place before the problem crops up.
A negative review can cost a business sales. Consumers love to read the reviews before choosing a restaurant, making a purchase or finding a good dentist, pediatrician or local contractor. But a negative review doesn’t always equate to lost sales and revenue if it is handled correctly.
A negative review can actually be a good thing because it gives the positive reviews a little more credibility and doesn’t look like your gaming the system. Although, too many negative reviews or a high percentage of negative reviews is a bad thing. So if you only have 5 reviews and 2 of them are bad your percentage of negative reviews will hurt your business.
So what do you do about negative reviews? Here are a few tips to help your business better manage your businesses brand reputation online.
Solve Problems Before They Go Online – The best defense is a good offense. The easiest way to prevent negative reviews from being posted online is to make sure customers are happy. This means looking out for potential customer problems addressing issues right away. A business should never be caught off guard by negative reviews online. Knowing that it isn’t possible to please everyone all the time, you need to expect some not so good reviews once in a while.
Responding to Negative Reviews – Knowing that an active business may get a less than satisfactory review, knowing how to deal with these reviews is important. At times customers can blow things out of proportion so it is important to keep a cool head and try to see the situation from the customers point of view. Customers aren’t trying to go after your business for no reason. A customer will always see things far worse than the business owner so understanding that it is a big deal to them is an important first step.
Ignoring the problem will only make your business look worse. Offer to rectify the situation in whatever way you can. If they are unhappy with a product or service, offer to replace it. Typically when a customer takes you up on the offer they will also go back online and change their review. If they don’t take you up on the offer it will still show a sign of goodwill and that your business does take customer service seriously.
Improve Your Business – Online reviews and customer feedback provide business owners with some common trends going on in the business. Positive and negative reviews can provide some insight and help identify problems before they get too big. But can also provide insight on the things you’re doing right as well as trends on popular products or services where you can expand offerings.