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What If You Get A Negative Review?

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

Online reviews can (sometimes) be influenced, BUT in general they are NOT in a business owner’s control. Reviews are content about your business that consumers actually look for, so every business person MUST have a plan in place to pursue the best client reviews possible. It’s not only because a good review is 1) some of the best advertising you could ever have; it is not only 2) because 9 in 10 people won’t ever get around to giving one unless you ask them to do it, but it is because 3) good reviews from people you make happy will simultaneously serve as the hedge you may need against when / if a bad review ever shows up.

As a serious marketer you need a proactive strategy to identify, contact and, in some cases, follow through with those happy customers for their review! And for the best results ask for it on your verified Google+ page , where reviews are a competitive local search engine signal.

About Bad Reviews

The negative side of this coin is you can’t control all the listings out there witHazardous Negative Reviews And How To Deal With Themh your companies info and an opportunity for anyone to post a review. If the possibility of getting a negative review makes you hesitant to pursue them, remember that sooner or later almost every business will get a negative review. Recognizing the power a review wields, 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. Google+, and other review sites, certainly allow you to respond publicly to a negative review so other consumers can see you take customer satisfaction seriously.

The 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.

  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!