Negative reviews are going to happen eventually, so it’s better to be prepared then to panic!
The reason for this article today is because I subscribe to +Manta‘s “Tip of the Day“, which I usually agree with and find very useful. However, today, my reaction, well, obviously I have something to say because I am dedicating an entire article to this topic.
How to Deal with Negative Reviews
One negative review can damage your brand. Neutralize a bad online review by contacting the customer privately to work through the issue. Meanwhile, proactively ask happy customers to write positive reviews and publish good content in other places on the web to get stronger search results, making it less likely that the negative review will be displayed.
I want to break this down and address pieces of this statement individually.
One negative review can damage your brand.
I do agree that negative reviews can damage your brand, however, the level of damage will be determined by a couple of factors.
- The legitimacy of the review, how detailed and accurate.
- The individuals level of influence, are they someone people view as a credible source?
- If the issue appears to be unresolved or if there is a lack of attention from the business.
Neutralize a bad online review by contacting the customer privately to work through the issue.
Look at number three above. Lets think this one through!
In some situations (very few), completely handling the issue in “private” is necessary. However, if you want to minimize the “damage” to your brand from any negative review, it needs to appear to the consumer that you are addressing and trying to resolve the issue. Even if publicly, you reach out to the reviewer letting them know you’d like to connect with them to address their concerns, and then following up with the results of your efforts, even if the reviewer is still unsatisfied.
People need to see that you care about them. That you care about the experience they have when dealing with your brand.
This is why so many companies use Twitter and other social media outlets for handling their customer service.
…proactively ask happy customers to write positive reviews…
I use a local service, Boyett Family Rayne Water Conditioning, and they encourage their customers to leave reviews on their BBB profile or their Google Local Page. What they do is this. A customer can leave as many reviews as they’d like, but every 6 months, they will reward you for your review by crediting your account for a months worth of service.
Some might think that their reviews are going to be skewed, but in reality, if you’re not satisfied with a company, would continue to pay for their service just to get free service twice a year?
…publish good content in other places on the web…making it less likely that the negative review will be displayed.
Now this only makes sense if your positive reviews outweigh the negative. Negative reviews will always be displayed and findable, and trying to hide your negative reviews can be just as damaging to your brand.
Remember, consumers today will pay a premium price for a product or service if the customer service is better than the cheaper company.
My advice is to embrace the negative reviews, look at them as an opportunity to show how awesome your customer service is and how much you CARE about your customers experience with and perception of your brand.
Bad reviews should also be an opportunity for you to identify how you can improve your business. Maybe you need clearer verbiage on your website, or more FAQs. Maybe your support team dropped the ball or you dropped the ball because you’re trying to do everything.
Whatever the reason, you have the power to turn it into a positive experience for future customers!
How have you handled negative reviews in the past? Were you successful? Did you notice the positive impact it had on your customer’s and prospective customer’s perception of your brand?