Negative Reviews: What you should and should not do

Negative reviews are a part of life. That’s hardly surprising, considering the diverse nature of human beings. The truth of the matter is that the more that your business interacts with people, the more likely it is that you are going to start receiving flack sooner or later. So, what is it that you should and should not do when you receive negative reviews?

An Angry Customer is a Motivated Customer

The majority of customers will never be bothered to leave online reviews (up to 97%). However, of those that do, the most motivated are the ones that have had adverse experiences when dealing with your company. What this means is that an angry customer will much more likely go on Yelp to vent their anger, when compared with a happy customer.

What To Do When You Get a Negative Review

That is the major reasons why some businesses tend to have a higher ratio or negative reviews, though they may actually have a greater number of satisfied customers. So, what should you do when you get negative reviews?

You should you not panic

A negative bit of feedback on Yelp or Google can sent you into a fit of sweating, particularly if you are a small business. Let’s take a plumber business as an example. This type of business is often localized, meaning your customers are only ever going to come from so many miles around you.

The nature of the business itself tends to lend to greater and much more intimate interaction with the customer. This is good, but also has its perils. Chances are higher that you are going to rub one of your customers the wrong way eventually, but when this happens, there is really no need for you to panic.

Again, understand that negative reviews are a part of life, and there are some things that you can do to turn them into positive capital.

Find out if the review is genuine

One of the things that will surprise you is that, for one reason or the other, there are people out there who will post fake reviews across the internet. Okay, maybe, the review is from a competitor who is trying to take you down, but there are others whose motivations are entirely unfathomable.

On Yelp, one of the world’s biggest online review platforms, the percentage of fake reviews can be as high as 20%! Indeed, there are companies out there that specialize in the publication of phony reviews.

Request fake or inappropriate reviews to be taken down

The good news is that you can actually request, on Google, Yelp, Facebook and other review platforms, to have the fake reviews removed from your page. The bad news? Well, it’s not really that easy to remove fake reviews, unless they are overtly inappropriate.

Engage the concerned customer

Negative reviews are actually an opportunity, when viewed the right way. Just consider that the person who has taken the time to criticise you on Yelp probably has had a negative experience interacting with your business.

This, therefore, is an opportunity for you to correct whatever it is that has motivated them to leave the criticism. This way, the issue, which may actually be something to do with you and your company, can be resolved before it has had the chance to spread to other customers.

Ask the customer to edit their review

Remember what we have just said about it being difficult to have negative reviews removed from your page? Well, one easy way of achieving this result involves first getting in touch with the concerned customer, and, after resolving their issue, asking them to go back and edit their review.

Doing this actually shows that your company is not some difficulty to approach entity that operates from a hard to reach place somewhere in the world.

Encourage Satisfied Customers to Leave Reviews

We mentioned, at the top, the fact that satisfied customers do not usually bother to leave reviews, which is why you may end up getting swamped with negative feedback. It’s important, therefore, for businesses to make sure that their happy customers are encouraged to go to Yelp, Google and other platforms to review their products and services.

Most of these platforms show the latest customers at the top, meaning its possible for you to drown off the front page those reviews that may not be that flattering to your company.

The Kneejerk reaction is the wrong reaction

One of the major failings, when it comes to the management of negative reviews, particularly by small or sole traders, comes from the fact that they are often not patient enough when responding to negative reviews.

The result is that there are countless instances of adverse reviews that have been turned into slugging matches between the customer and the business. The publicity that this draws clearly does not ogre well for any business entity. You can check out a few of the hilarious responses to negative reviews in the article in the provided link.

Timing is everything

Allowing that negative review to fester on your profile is clearly not the way to go as far as online reviews are concerned. Today, with the proliferation of social media, it has become easier for people to share their experiences, meaning you need to swoop in to diffuse the situation in as timely a manner as is possible. As already noted, engaging the concerned customer is a good way through which you can get them to go back and edit their review.

Provide a short response

Even where the customer has provided a eulogy in their complain about your business, your response should be short and to the point. What you don’t want to do is to end up engaging in a shouting match with the customer. That’s the stuff on which internet myth is made of, and you definitely do not want to become the negative form of famous.

People expect to see some negative reviews

Finally, here is a bit of interesting information. People actually expect a bit of negative feedback when looking up your company on the internet. Having only 5 star reviews makes the whole thing appear suspiciously doctored. It’s clear, therefore, that a few negative reviews are something about which you should never sweat. If you still need convincing about the importance of online reviews, feel free to refer to our article in the provided link.

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