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HOW TO COMBAT NEGATIVE ONLINE REVIEWS

DEAL WITH YOUR CRITICS WITH STYLE AND GRACE

A good business owner in today’s world must understand the unique power of the internet to influence current customers and attract new customers. If you’re a business owner yourself, you know how powerful a negative online review can be for the potential customers who value other customers’ experiences.

However, receiving a negative review doesn’t have to spell disaster for your company; in fact, getting a negative review can provide you with ample opportunity to show your customers just how gracious and receptive you are to customers opinions.

The way you respond to a negative review can have serious implications for your company in the long run; carefully formulating your response beforehand is vital to avoiding disaster.

Here are 5 ways to successfully combat negative online reviews.

FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE

If a displeased customer has written pointedly untrue information about your product or service, the best way to combat the mistruth is to directly, positively, combat it.

For example, if a client says that your company hasn’t provided discounts once in the past year and you know that this information is factually inaccurate, respond by listing the month and exact discounts you have offered, as well as any available links to online coupons or advertisements promoting the discounts.

Do not re-introduce the accusation in your response; focus on combatting the accusation with affirmative, logical and accessible statements.

ENCOURAGE REVIEWS FROM HAPPY CUSTOMERS

One way to leverage your satisfied customers in a review situation is to explain how important their feedback is for you to be able to make improvements in the future.

The first step to pulling in valuable positive reviews is to make leaving a review ultra-easy for your satisfied customers. You might create an email to send to your client list that encourages them to leave a review; always emphasize how valuable their opinions are to you and your efforts to increase customer happiness in the future.

MANAGE EXPECTATIONS

Sometimes, no matter how many times your company has delivered perfect service, you’ll find a negative review crop up about your brand. Whatever the displeased customer has to say, you must address their displeasure with deference. Assure them that their review is important, and that your company appreciates and considers each negative review an opportunity to improve.

When you manage a dissatisfied customer’s expectations in this way, you present a positive reaction from your brand rather than a defensive, negative one; you show bystanders that you both acknowledge and value each review and that you’re confident enough in your product or service to address a dissatisfied customer on the subject.

GET INVOLVED IN MULTIPLE REVIEW SITES

Consider this scenario: if your company is only signed up for a single review site, the negative reviews that could trickle in through that site are the only reviews your potential customers have to consider when researching your brand.

To provide your potential customers with more outlets for reading about fellow customers’ experiences with your brand, submit your business to several platforms. Doing so will provide your potential customers with more real estate to explore reviews and give satisfied customers more options for leaving positive reviews.

All in all, being visible on multiple review sites increase your company’s chances of pulling in positive reviews and having those reviews be seen.

HANDLING NEGATIVE REVIEWS OF YOUR STAFF

Sometimes, a company will receive negative reviews that specifically target one of their employees for poor performance, rudeness or general lack of competence. When it comes to addressing negative reviews of your employees’ performances, you have a few possible routes to take; you can confront the employee with the negative review and discuss possible actions to remedy the situation, terminate the employee, or institute punishment for the mistake. Communicate thoroughly about the origin of the employee’s negligence or mistake before taking punitive measures; creating an environment wherein employees feel empowered to explain their mistakes rather than cover them up is crucial to improving on past failures and ensuring that your employees understand the procedures.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to deflect and diminish the effects of a negative online review. With the right attitude and clear communication, you can use negative reviews of your company to express your company’s desire to grow and continue to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

photo credit: psd via photopin cc

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