Online reviews are excellent ways of growing your business. They are tools you can use for marketing and increasing your sales. Companies that create reviews have come up in the market to help you sustain and enlarge your business. The German review platform, Yelp, and Amazon are among the best review companies in the online world. Large companies in various industries use one or two of these platforms to market their brands and draw traffic to their sites through positive reviews. But with every positive review, there are a few negative ones that, when ignored, can ground your business.
How then should you handle negative online reviews?
#1. Acknowledge Your Mistake
Whether it is your mistake or not, acknowledge the error and apologize to the client. Clients, both online and offline, tend to seek attention. They want someone to have a listening ear to their complaints and concerns. They need their issues addressed. Not all clients who leave negative reviews are malicious. Some clients are genuinely expressing their concern. Be empathic with your client. Show regret that the client is not happy with your services. Some negative reviews only need straightforward explanations and apologies to change the clients’ views. Several bad reviews turn positive when you make the client understand the reasons a mistake happened.
#2. Respond Offline
To get to the root cause of the problem, respond to the client offline. However, leave an acknowledging thoughtful comment first. Be apologetic in your public comment then ask the client to go offline with you to work on rectifying the error. Get to know what the client is not pleased about in detail and address the situation. Do not lay blames even when the problem is with the client. A review platform allows people to be very outspoken. You need to proceed with caution while handling customer concerns.
#3. Learn From Your Mistakes
Negative comments are reflections of hidden mistakes that you may not have noticed before. If you have many negative comments about a specific situation, then it is a call for action. For example, if you have complaints about rudeness from your customer care desk, you need to address your customer care staff. Negative reviews help you know the areas of weakness in your business. If you take the reports seriously and address the concerns, you are on your way to growing your business.
#4. Sing Your Praises
It might sound like a bad idea to talk about your positive traits when dealing with a dissatisfied client. But it would be best if you strived to highlight your business strengths without downplaying the clients’ concerns. Let them know in a non-condescending way that theirs is a rare occurrence. Inform the client that your business is not prone to such mistakes that he or she finds dissatisfying.
#5. Respond Personally
You or your employees should use your real names when responding to online reviews. Use your first name or the initials of your name. Be ready to give out your personal work numbers and emails. This encourages the client of your authenticity. Don’t respond like a corporation. Even if you are just an employee in the organization, own the mistake. But ensure you preserve your security on the internet.
How NOT to deal with negative online reviews
Negative online reviews also help to build your business, especially if you learn from them. Do not ignore a negative review. Address the client immediately to avoid being seen by previous and potential clients as a business that does not care. Don’t give the client time to justify the situation. Don’t let yourself be pulled into an online confrontation when responding to the clients’ concerns. It would help if you didn’t get defensive or beg for positive reviews to cover the negative ones. Naturally, people tend to get defensive when faced with a situation that seems out of control.