Google reviews and ratings are a great asset for every online business. The more positive reviews your business gets, the better. In fact, customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
Unfortunately, it’s not always smooth sailing and you can’t please every single customer. Some customers have an axe to grind with your business for one reason or another and the best place for them to do it is on a public platform where other customers will see it.
When you inevitably get your first less-than-favourable or negative review, don’t fret. Follow these tips instead.
Don’t Panic or Overreact
All businesses get their fair share of bad reviews from time to time. Maybe you were just having an off day, your new trainee made a small mistake, or the customer was just in a bad mood and they took it out on your business.
Whatever the reason was, there’s no review that is so negative that the situation can’t be appropriately rectified.
As the business owner, it is up to you to take the high road. Work out a solution to fix the problem and reassure the reviewer that you’ll try to do better next time.
Evaluate the Situation
Before responding to negative reviews, take the time to carefully evaluate the situation and find out what went wrong on your end. Determine whether the review is real or fraudulent and go from there. If it is real, respond directly to the reviewer diplomatically to try to get to the bottom of the problem.
Google has recourse options for reporting suspected spam or fraudulent reviews. Sometimes competitors will hire fake reviewers to leave bad reviews on your Google My Business account.
Check your records to determine if the reviewer was an actual customer of yours. If they’re not, then you can report the review to Google.
Legitimate bad reviews should be investigated more thoroughly to determine the cause of the problem and how it can amicably be resolved.
Respond in a Polite and Respectful Manner
While you can’t control what people are saying about your business online, you can control your reaction. How you respond to negative reviews speaks volumes about your character, management style, and sense of professionalism.
Research shows that four out of five consumers have changed their minds about a recommended purchase after reading negative online reviews. That is why it is important to acknowledge and respond to every review. Thank them for supporting your business and bringing a bad experience to your attention, apologize and offer a solution.
Ignoring negative reviews is just as bad as getting defensive or getting into an argument with a reviewer. It indicates that you don’t care enough about your customers to resolve the situation and it can greatly influence other customers who are considering supporting your business.
In fact, 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to both positive and negative reviews.
Be Transparent and Apologetic about Mistakes
Everybody makes mistakes from time to time. More often than not, customers can be very forgiving as long as you show genuine remorse for their bad experience and try to provide a palpable solution.
Think of every bad review as a valuable lesson and opportunity to improve your business practices. When customers give feedback on your products or services, listen graciously, and respond appropriately.
Work with a Reliable Reputation Management Agency
Need help with managing and responding to your online reviews? Numero Uno Web Solutions provides expert online reputation management services for SMBs across the globe. Our services are designed to help you grow your business by employing custom-tailored tried-and-true SEO and digital marketing strategies. Contact us today to learn more.