It’s inevitable that eventually, every business will get a negative review, whether it’s warranted or not. How you respond publicly to negative reviews has a huge impact on your business’ overall online reputation and can affect your word of mouth marketing. Don’t let a negative review change the public’s perception of your business. Learn how to manage your online reputation and respond to negative reviews appropriately and consistently.
Carefully Consider the Customer’s View
Though it can be easy to dismiss a negative review as untrue, try to carefully consider the customer’s point of view. You’ll just be staring off on the wrong foot if you can’t admit mistakes or act humble.
Handle Employment Issues Privately
If a customer has an issue with a specific employee, don’t respond publicly. You never want to respond to an online review by telling a customer that you will fire, reprimand, or otherwise censure an employee. That is unfair to your employee and might even violate privacy rules or labor laws. Instead, discuss the issue privately with the employee and give them a chance to tell you their side of the story.
Call the Customer Personally
If the negative review makes complex claims that can’t be easily handled in a public, online response, call or email the customer personally to discuss the issue further. Follow that conversation up by responding publicly to the review, saying something like, “thank you for taking the time to talk to me via phone today about this issue. I’m so glad we were able to resolve this to your satisfaction, and we hope to see you again soon!” That way if anyone else comes across the review, they know it’s been handled, and the customer is satisfied.
Respond Thoughtfully & Consistently
Always respond thoughtfully and consistently to negative reviews. If you ignore one and respond to another, you won’t seem trustworthy or transparent. Customers will also start wondering what it takes to get a response from you.
Offer to Make it Right
You should always do everything in your power to turn a negative situation into a positive. You can either ask the customer, “how can I make this right for you?”, or you can proactively offer a free product, a discount, a refund, or some other commensurate solution.
If your company needs help managing negative reviews, or just wants to implement an effective reputation and review management system, contact us at Leverage Marketing. Our team has extensive experience in review management and can help you control your business’ online reputation. Just contact us today at (616) 377-4392 to learn more or schedule a free strategy session.