Responding to Negative Reviews Online

It’s important to utilize reviews for your business – consumers look to others for advice on whether they should do business with you or not. It shows confidence in your product/services in addition to legitimacy when you encourage customers to leave reviews for your business. However, when you allow for reviews there will inevitably be some negative ones. That’s OK though! More often than not, they are about things that can be resolved. Quick resolution to negative reviews can typically remedy the situation and even earn back the reviewer’s business. How should you go about responding to negative reviews?

First, introduce yourself. Let them know who you are and what role you play in the business. Apologize for their bad experience in a professional way. Thank them for bringing the issue to your attention and let them know that if it is something that can be taken care of, that it will be dealt with. Usually if you simply apologize and thank them, people will forgive the situation, after all everyone is human and prone to human error. Even if the customer gets offensive or is in some way rude in their review, try not to get defensive. Others will read into how you respond and will appreciate the professionalism. Take account of any patterns that you are seeing in your negative reviews – is this something that is a regular occurrence, or one isolated incident? If it something that happens regularly, be sure to deal with it promptly.

If the negative review is inaccurate, it’s important to clear up any misconceptions the reviewer or others may have in regards to the situation. Word this carefully, and try not to get accusatory – keep it neutral! Letting people know your side of the story is important because a lot of other people are reading these reviews and need to understand the entire situation. Keep it brief and to the point, you don’t need to write a five paragraph description of what exactly happened. Always remember that other people will see these reviews when making purchasing decisions – according to one study, 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation.

If you don’t have an account with Yelp!, Trip Advisor, Angie’s List, etc. but you do have a social media account for your business, you are still at risk of getting negative reviews. Social media is open to the world and all of your followers will see that review and it could negatively impact their opinion of your business. It’s important to respond quickly and don’t just delete the comment. It looks really sketchy if one minute the comment is there and the next it’s gone, people will notice this and it will look like you’re trying to cover something up. Be upfront, honest, and professional.

Negative reviews don’t have to end badly! Take this as an opportunity to prove to your customers that you offer great customer service. Show that you have confidence in your business and that you are never afraid to improve. This helps build trust in your brand, and increases customer loyalty. Studies show that if you resolve a customer complaint, they will do business with you again 70% of the time. Remember, if you choose not to respond and other people read the negative review, 95% of customers will not hesitate to share bad experiences with others. Be sure to take care of negative reviews when they arise. If you are having a hard time staying on top of reviews and social media, Fusion Group USA can help. We offer marketing consultation and social media management. Call today to learn more about what we have to offer!

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