How to handle negative reviews
Now to address the elephant in the room. Negative reviews are inevitable, and your customers know that. In fact, an enormous 95 percent suspect censorship or faked reviews if there aren’t any negative ones, according to Reevoo. It’s how you handle those reviews that will make or break your business.
What happens when you get a bad review? Sometimes, client and service provider relationships just aren’t good fits, but handling the situation correctly can actually help your business.
First, don’t take it personally – and certainly don’t respond that way. Think of a negative online review the way you’d think of a customer complaint delivered another way, say over the phone or in person. Online is no different.
Try to address a negative review transparently and quickly. An honest response is best. And, if you share a proactive response that solves the matter, readers of the review may see it as a big misunderstanding and really appreciate how you handled the poor review. On top of that, the person who gave the bad review could provide a follow-up response of how you resolved the issue. If they haven’t after a few days, don’t hesitate to see if they will post another comment – it can’t hurt to ask!
Remember that as you compose your response, you’re not circulating a document internally before releasing to the public. This is going public immediately. Of course, you want to be proactive and quick, but you may want to take the exchange offline first.
Ask how to contact the reviewer and when they are available. After that, follow up with them to make sure they feel you addressed their grievance. Before talking to them, stop for a minute and think about this: Does the negative review have merit, and is there some aspect of your business that you need to work on? Don’t be shy about sharing the criticism with your staff – they can help you improve if that is what’s needed.
As you gather your reviews and continue to grow your company, you’ll want to spot the negative reviews as quickly as possible. If you think you caused a problem for a client and you expect a negative review, actively search online for it. You don’t want to stick your head in the sand over negative reviews – or over positive ones, for that matter. With the right tactics and approaches, you may find handling negative reviews can actually greatly improve your business.