We’ve all been there. Wake up to see a notification online about your business, you click into it and it is every business owner’s worst nightmare, a negative online review. Luckily we put together a list of the best ways to handle bad reviews.
Before getting started it is important to remind yourself that a bad review isn’t the end of the world… Often there are ways to turn a customer’s bad experience into a positive branding tool by the way you handle the situation.
That brings us to our tip number one:
It is crucial that you do not wait very long to deal with the negative review. We recommend responding publicly within 24 hours if possible. This will not only hopefully soften the reviewer’s stance, but it will also show potential customers that you are responsible and willing to deal with customers’ problems head-on.
No matter what is said (unless there are actual threats to you or your staff) you should always take the high road. Often times the reviewer will be making their negative review during a time when they are highly emotional. If you are kind in your response, they may soften their stance and be more understanding. Even if the reviewer does not change their opinion, a kind response will bode well with potential and current customers reading the review.
Again, often the reviewer who had a negative experience is writing a review when he/she is in an emotional state. Speaking with them in a professional manner within 24 hours of the negative review allows them to hear your side of the story. As well as an opportunity for a learning experience if in fact the customer’s negative review is warranted. Often negative reviews are due to misunderstandings, so there is potentially an opportunity for the reviewer to remove their negative review. Be prepared to offer a discount in return for their patience.
In a world of Yelp, Facebook, Google, and other online reviews, it can be easy to get discouraged when someone tries to ruin the reputation of your business online. But it is important to stay positive and continue to request and recommend customers to leave reviews. Much more often than not if a customer chooses to leave a review it will be a positive one. More positive reviews will also help to soften the blow of negative reviews and offer new customers a reason to trust your business.
Sometimes you will have an experience with a customer that is simply a flat-out lie or not your fault. There are a thousand reasons for something like this and online review platforms are aware of things that are out of your control. For example, if someone gives a restaurant a bad review because they got a ticket illegally parking near your establishment (happens more often than you would think), the review platform will often remove the negative review. It is important to remain patient and courteous when dealing with these review platforms, however.
Online reviews… Can’t live with them can’t live without them. In today’s digital world it is so important to have a plan regarding how to handle negative reviews. We hope that our Best Ways To Handle Bad Reviews guide has been helpful.