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How Can A Business Deal With A Negative Review?

Reviews Can Be The Best Advertising A Business Could Ever Have, However …

Online reviews are NOT in a business owner’s control. Comments about a business posted on random listing websites by anyone is a modern reality. It is also content that consumers look for when considering a business for their needs; they want to know how others experience has been. Sure the chance of a negative review scares, even frustrates, a business owner, but there is also an opportunity here. With a simple action plan to deal with reviews in place the business owner can turn this listings’ reality in its’ favor!

In fact it’s crucial to get proactive about asking for reviews NOT ONLY because

1) a good review is some of the best advertising a business could ever have 
2) 9 in 10 people won’t ever get around to giving a review unless they are asked BUT because
3) lots of good reviews will simultaneously serve as the hedge a business needs for if a bad review ever comes! 

Serious marketers NEED a proactive approach to identify, then contact and, in some cases, follow through with happy customers for their review. And, if necessary, show them step by step how and where to give that review! Important: a Google Map or Search Listing page is where reviews are the most visible so be certain there is a fully verified and optimized set of Google My Business tools in place! 

About Bad Reviews

The negative side of this coin is you CANNOT control all the listings out there witHazardous Negative Reviews And How To Deal With Themh your company’s information, nor the chance anyone will post a review to them. If the possibility of getting a negative review makes you hesitant, remember that sooner or later almost every business will get a negative review. There are those rare individuals out there who may NOT be fair. It’s why you must have a proactive plan ready!

And by the way, having nothing but glowing comments can make some readers wonder about whether or not your reviews are even legitimate. Your plan for managing that bad review will speak volumes with potential customers (including the unhappy customer) and can have a far greater effect than the bad review itself. We all know some people are impossible to please and consumers get that too. Google listings and other review sites certainly allow you to respond publicly to a negative review so that consumers can see you take customer satisfaction seriously.

Top Tips For Avoiding AND Dealing With A Bad Review

  1. Management Of Consumer Expectations:

    They say an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, but let’s do our best NEVER to be caught off guard! How? We need to be thorough communicators from the very start. This most obvious tip is prevention. To prevent negative reviews a company should carefully manage expectations about what someone is buying. Leave nothing to chance! Some might call it making sure customers aren’t set up for confusion or the disappointment that motivates a bad review in the first place. And folks, drop the ego – we all want to be supported!

  2. Directory Review Policies:

    Getting a review removed depends on the documented policies and whether or not you can prove they were violated, but its’ worth a careful look. Yelp, for instance, doesn’t support reviews from a competitor. No directory will support false user accounts, so be sure the individual is legitimate or you may be able to have it taken down. And there is usually a way to FLAG a false review in your account dashboard calling the directory to review it and your reasons for why it should be taken down. 

  3. Go Direct:

    Respond privately to the individual before responding publicly, if possible. Apologize and acknowledge the mistake. Maybe, there’s an opportunity to make up for it in exchange for taking the negative review down or for an updated good review. Online reviews are not set in stone, they can always be updated by the reviewer.

  4. Positive Public Response:

  • Never react, never make excuses.
  • Prepare a response to amicably resolve the situation, but have others review it before going live.
  • Identify yourself as the business owner, explain customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance and that given a chance to speak directly you are certain you can resolve the situation.
  • Restate the issue because that person is likely annoyed, they want to know they were heard.
  • Do not motivate or engage in a back and forth battle online for the entire world to see. Arguments or trying to explain how events didn’t occur in the fashion reviewed is not going to help you. Consumers reading an argument will lean toward other consumers when they see an argument, so you must understand that you are speaking to them too!
  • Acknowledge a mistake — even if you’re not sure you have made one — apologize and (again) offer to proactively fix the situation.
  • If an agreement can be reached the person will often take the review down, but if not you have still demonstrated goodwill and the way you conduct business for everyone to see!