If Your Business Gets a Negative Review, What Should You Do?

By Ann Mills

negative online review

It’s bound to happen.

Unhappy customers in a mobile world are a tough combination for business. Dissatisfied patrons seem almost determined to post a negative review and even worse, review sites permit customers to upload pictures too. So, if your coffee house has an overflowing trash can or the floor needs sweeping, a customer can snap a photo and upload it to a review site for all to see. Negative reviews have become the digital version of calling someone out, and they can wreak havoc on your business.

On a 5-star rating scale, everything that is 3-stars, 2-stars or 1-star is within the realm of a negative review. Why? 3-stars mean the customer is not exactly endorsing your business, plus often there are no comments with a 3-star review. 3-stars certainly won’t compel anyone to visit your establishment; potential customers will continue searching the Internet for the 5-star one instead. With 2-stars and 1-star reviews, there is usually a comment alongside the rating, and more often than not, the commentary will painstakingly describe every aspect of the issue.

So, if your business gets a negative online review, what should you do?

1. Answer the negative customer review

No business wants an unfavorable review; but on the bright side, in giving your business a review, a customer is talking to you and telling you something. Customer conversations are always helpful, and if you take the time to address the issue, sometimes customers will even go back and amend the number of review stars as well as their comments. Acknowledge the bad experience the customer had and respond to the review promptly and politely suggesting something that may help if (s)he visits in future. For example, put in your response, “Please don’t ever hesitate to get the manager on duty involved because the quality of your experience is very important to us.”

Negative reviews are the digital version of calling someone out, and they can wreak havoc on your business.

2. Avoid putting your company name in the online review response

Online review comments can come up when customers search the Internet. An important rule of thumb is to keep your company name out of a response to negative online reviews. Instead of, “We are sorry you had a bad experience at Joe’s Coffee House,” say, “We are sorry you had a bad experience at our coffee house.” On the flipside, for positive reviews, do add your company name in the response as well as a positive aspect about your business.

3. Look for patterns in online customer feedback

It’s easy to brush off a negative review as the result of an unreasonable customer, but there are often patterns in reviews. If one of your locations consistently has complaints about the reception staff, for example, chances are you have a problem. Businesses mistakenly believe they will be able to leave positive reviews on the Internet, and they can hire a reputation management company to remove the negative ones from 3rd party sites. Not so. Customer reviews cannot be Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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