5 Tips for Handling Negative Online Reviews

By April 10, 2018 January 10th, 2019 Insight, Social Media

We all like to receive good feedback. Pleased customers who let us know what a great job we’re doing will never be a bad thing for business, and thanks to online marketing leaving a review is easier than ever.

According to 2017 statistics collected by Bright Local 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation, and positive reviews make 73% of consumers place more trust in a business. The takeaway? Online reviews are vital to your company’s reputation.

Social Media pages, Google Reviews, and other feedback venues are a great way to spread the word about your excellent customer service. However, what do we do when we receive negative feedback?

Here are five tips to keep in mind when handling negative online reviews:

1. Always Respond to Your Reviews

Whether or not they’re positive, it is always recommended to respond. Viewers like to see a company interacting with reviewers in a personal way and to show that you care about what your customers think. Furthermore, it helps your Google ranking to respond to your Google reviews.

2. Acknowledge the Customer’s Concern

Whether or not it’s a true account of what occurred, it is important that you validate how your customer is feeling and their concern. Let them know that you care. Apologize that they were dissatisfied and reassure them by stating that you don’t want this to be how they experience your business.

3. Do Not Retaliate or Shift Blame

It is not a blame-shifting game. Don’t try to deflect the problem by placing the blame back on the customer – this never goes well. It looks unprofessional and will not do anything to help improve your reputation.

4. Direct the Conversation Offline

There is nothing worse than getting into a back and forth dispute online because it so public and you are opening yourself up to critique and criticism from your viewers. After apologizing that this was the customer’s experience, try to direct the conversation offline by asking them to reach out to you by phone or stopping by to chat in person. Do so in a manner that doesn’t seem like you’re just trying to deflect either. Perhaps offer the name of a company representative to ask for, someone who is updated about the problem and will be able to address the issue.

5. Let Them Know the Problem is Being Addressed

Without going into specifics (like employee names, etc.) let the customer know that you are working to resolve the issue on your end. Emphasize that you care about the experience of each client, and that you are doing what you can to help avoid this problem in the future – and make sure you actually do it! Oftentimes, what most people want to see is that you care and that you won’t leave the problem to happen over again.

Responding to negative reviews will never be an enjoyable experience – but it’s an important one. If you face a tough review, it always helps to reread it a few times, respond when you’re in a calm state, and try to focus on the takeaway for your business: What can you learn from this? How can you improve to avoid this problem in the future?