Don’t panic – here are our top tips for dealing with negative reviews
With every man and his dog having an online presence and an opinion on everything, negative reviews are inevitable in 2019. Even if you’re doing everything right as a business and your customer service is fantastic, it is possible you’re going to get a customer who has a bad experience on a bad day, who shares it all over the Internet. But it’s not the end of the world. As a business you need to have a system in place to deal with negative reviews to ensure they’re handled properly. Here are Circle Media’s top tips for dealing with bad online reviews.
1. Now is not the time to panic
Seeing a negative review pop up is always a moment of fear – usually followed by mild cursing. Don’t panic and jump to delete it or post a hasty response. Take a minute and a deep breath and make it your priority for the day. Once you’ve taken the time to cool off, start drafting a response. Your aim is to take the heat out of the situation and prevent it from getting worse. Just acknowledging the review and working to rectify it can go a long way to improving the situation and the customers opinion on your business.
2. Get it out of the public eye
Once you’ve publicly addressed the situation and people can see that you’re working to fix the issue, attempt to take the interaction to a more private forum. Getting in touch with the customer over the phone or even in a private message is a much better way to fix the compliant. You don’t want your dirty laundry aired to the public any more than it already is. The risk when dealing with a bad review publicly is that is can quickly turn into a game of he-said she-said, and you don’t want to be seen as disrespecting or attacking your customers, particularly if it’s a valid complaint.
3. The best case scenario
In an ideal situation you’ve dealt with the review publicly and privately and the situation is resolved. In this case, ask your customer to remove the review and put the situation to bed. If they’d like it left up for future reference and transparency, make sure that you’ve addressed them in the comments and future customers will be able to see that you handled the situation to the best of your ability.
4. Plan B
If you’ve tried everything and the review just won’t go away there are a few things you can do. It’s never a good idea to delete a negative review, even when you’ve tried to address the situation. It can further frustrate the customer and result in more negative feedback and other parties getting involved. If it’s the top review, ask loyal customers or friends to leave you a good review. Customers will increase your credibility and overall perception, so they should be your first choice. If you end up having to ask friends or family to help you out, make sure they stagger the posts. It’ll look really suspicious if your reviews double in one day.
Negative reviews aren’t all bad
Although negative reviews can be damaging to your brand and business (particularly when left unaddressed), they can also be a helpful tool. If it’s a genuine complaint then it should be addressed so it doesn’t happen again. If it’s constructive criticism it’s useful feedback to have. There’s so much fear surrounding negative reviews and what they can do to your reputation, that they can actually deter people from creating a Facebook or Instagram profile for their business. But fundamentally reviews are good. They can boost your credibility and be great for building your business. Even bad reviews when handled correctly can be helpful in showing the value you place on your customers and your commitment to providing great service and support.
Give your customers the credit they deserve
If you get a scathing review that’s completely unwarranted don’t worry about it too much. People can usually spot fake reviews and can tell when people have developed a personal vendetta against the business. People will pay the most attention to reviews that seem reasonable, so listen to your customers and don’t stress about people who are just trying to start something. The other key factor to consider is your ratio of good reviews to bad. If you have the odd bad review mixed in with 50 good ones, there’s no reason to stress. But, if you’re suddenly getting 20 bad reviews and no good ones, then you really need to pay attention and make some changes.
If you’re looking for more tailored advice on how to handle negative reviews, talk to the team at Circle Media today. But, if you’re looking for the chance to leave us a glowing review – here’s a link. Your feedback is always appreciated.