In today's online business environment, positive reviews are critical for continuing success and growth. Basically, reviews are the modern version of that most effective of all kinds of advertising – word of mouth. In fact, 69% of consumers look at online reviews before making any kind of purchasing decision, and products/services with plenty of positive reviews usually see double the sales of those without positive reviews. And in some industries, 90% of consumers consider reviews important for making purchasing decisions. On the other side of the coin, negative reviews can result in a 70% loss of potential customers/clients. The upshot of all this is that you can't afford or have any (or very many) negative reviews. But they do occasionally happen, so the next best thing is knowing how to handle negative online reviews,
To Handle Negative Online Reviews, DON'T . . .
If you want to handle negative online reviews the right way and keep your business reputation untarnished, there are a few things you should not do:
- Respond with criticism and/or anger – Customers are allowed their opinions regarding your business, so keep the anger and criticism (even if justified) in check.
- Blame the customer – You have to take responsibility for your business actions, and blaming the customer will not be putting your best foot forward.
- Use inappropriate language and/or argue– Your business reputation, that which builds that crucial trust, will only be damaged if you respond to a negative review with inappropriate language or if you argue with a customer.
- Ignore a negative review – Ignoring a negative review will not solve the problem. The review will sit there quietly doing its damage, so you need to address it.
To Effectively Handle Negative Online Reviews, DO . . .
Now, here are the things you should do to handle negative online reviews.
Determine First Whether a Response is Justified
Not every negative review deserves or needs a response. Some of them come from cranks or chronic complainers and don't actually express the legitimates concerns of dissatisfied customers.
Make a Quick and Personal Response
In this age of instant communication, prompt action is necessary to lessen the impact of potentially harmful reviews. A quick response indicates that you care and are genuinely concerned about customer satisfaction. A personalized response that carefully addresses the expressed concerns adds that impression as well.
Delay a Public Response
Don't go public first thing. Instead, first address the issue privately, maybe via email. Then when the matter has been satisfactorily resolved, you can comment in a public space.
Use Tact and Empathy
Strive to be tactful and empathetic in responses to negative reviews. The customer may not be right, but you can't just bluntly blurt that out. Using tact and empathy will bolster your brand and not harm it.
Ask for a Second Chance
Finally, just ask for a second chance, a chance to make things right. One of the best ways to handle negative online reviews is to ask customers how you can improve their experience in the future.
A Service for Handling Negative Online Reviews
The best solution, of course, would be an affordable service that offers review generation and reputation monitoring. And that's exactly what you will find at Reputation Desk.
We offer an easier, more affordable solution: review generation software, as well as review management/reputation monitoring software. With our software, you'll have an automated, centralized system to generate more reviews, manage your reputation, respond to reviews, and even keep your business information consistent and accurate over 45 directories.
See how our review generation feature helps filter out negative reviews before they're posted.