5 Ways to Handle Negative Reviews Online
Whether you love them or hate them, online reviews are part of doing business in this digital world. It is common for consumers to read reviews, both positive and negative, before making a purchase decision, so customer reviews are an important component to building a customer base.
Regularly check out review sites like Yelp as well as search engines such as Google to stay up to date on what people are saying about you.
1. Acknowledge negative reviews.
Respond to all reviews. As tempting as it may be, do not ignore the negative ones. You may think responding will bring too much attention to the bad review, but that is not the case. It is best to apologize and empathize. You may end up turning a negative review into a positive one just by acknowledging the reviewer’s issue.
2. Respond with a positive tone.
A bad review may make you angry, but don’t be drawn into a fight. If your anger shows, it can make you seem petty and uncaring. Respond positively, apologize and say you’d love to resolve the issue. Ask the reviewer to contact you offline. Readers will see you’re making an effort to serve the customer.
3. Be authentic and sincere.
While you don’t want to come across as angry, you should also avoid being overly effusive to the point of seeming to talk down or pander. Be real, authentic and sincere in your response.
4. Identify yourself.
Avoid sounding canned by taking a personal approach. Include your name, even if it’s just a first name and last initial. Let the reviewer know what your position is and provide a phone number or email address where you can be reached.
5. Market yourself, gently.
When you are thanking or apologizing, weave in a point here and there to get across positive points about your company in a sincere manner. With an unhappy review, let the customer know that the event is highly unusual and that you appreciate the heads up.
The big takeaway here is that you should respond to all reviews, good and bad, with a tone that shows you are a real person, not a rote response. And remember, critical reviews might just shine a light on an area that needs attention and give you the opportunity to improve the way you do business.