With all the review websites online (Yelp, Google+ to list a few), plus social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, it is very important to become a watchdog of what is being said about your business brand online.
By and large, reviews offer word-of-mouth advertising and many consumers do look to reviews before deciding on a purchase/business/service.
But, what happens when your business receives a negative review online? What can you do to limit the impact the review(s) will have on your business?
Three Ways to Handle Negative Reviews
1) Do Nothing – some businesses choose to take a passive response to online reviews. By doing nothing, they are allowing the reviews to speak for themselves, positive and negative. Depending on the tone of the review, or the complaint, some businesses find that it is okay to simply do nothing.
2) Try and Have Review Removed – for some, they will dispute negative reviews through the proper channels laid out by the review websites. This is an important avenue, especially if the review seems excessively harsh or even untrue. Perhaps the reviewer has reviewed the wrong business, or the business does not have record of offering a service/product as described in the review.
3) Be Proactive and Positive – a great strategy for managing online reviews is to respond to as many reviews as possible – negative and positive. When responding to a review it is important to remain calm and positive. Offer apologies for whatever went wrong and then offer a way for the customer to contact you to make it right. You can even offer a reason as to why or how the problem occurred if you think it may make a difference.
It seems to be human nature for people to speak out more when they are upset, rather than when they are satisfied and happy. Therefore, businesses may find the ratio between positive reviews and negative ones to be inaccurate. By responding to negative reviews in a positive manner, future clients/customers will get the impression that you care about your business and value client relationships and service. How you handle yourself in the face of negativity could mean more than a long list of positive reviews.
Since there is no way to get around what others may post about your business online, it is important that you become a watchdog of your online image and then act accordingly and in a manner that is true to your business philosophy and spirit.
By Michelle Collie
Internet Marketing Specialist
Kelowna Web Design and Internet Marketing