No company is perfect and at some point in time, you can expect to see a negative review from a customer. While all companies strive to provide the best customer experience possible, the fact is that slip-ups happen. Though reading negative words about your business can be frustrating and even a little painful, the fact is that we all make mistakes. What’s most important is how you react to bad online reviews.
Your company’s online reputation matters. The good news is sites like Digital Exits list DIY options to fix bad reviews, and many of the fixes are pretty simple. Continue reading to learn about the steps to take in order to overcome bad online reviews.
Why a company’s online reputation matters
Over the past few decades, the digital world has greatly changed how we conduct business. What has stayed constant is the importance of a company’s reputation and professional standing. The bottom line is that consumers trust online reviews and often use them to determine whether or not a product or company is worthy of their money.
Before buying a product, customers look on sites like Yelp or Angie’s list to get a feeling for how past customers rate your business. The more positive reviews your company has, the better. But, a negative review doesn’t mean that your business is doomed.
As much as you may want to pretend that bad online reviews about your company don’t exist, the worst thing you can do is to ignore them. Because online reviews impact almost 68% of purchasing decisions, it’s in your company’s best interest to acknowledge all customer reviews, both good and bad.
By taking the time to read and respond to a negative review, it shows the reviewer and prospective customers that you care. The more open and engaged you are with consumers, the more favorable your company looks when compared to competitors.
Acknowledging bad online reviews is the first step, but how you respond is even more important. The wrong response could have a lasting impact on your online reputation.
Upon reading a negative review of your business, your first instinct is likely to defend and to quickly refute the reviewer’s comments. But, reacting to a negative review with more negativity doesn’t solve the problem at all. In fact, reacting negatively and delegitimizing the review could affect your company’s online reputation.
Instead of being defensive and teetering on the line of being rude, take some time to craft a professional and caring response. When responding to the review:
- Introduce yourself
- Thank the customer for writing the review
- Acknowledge the problem
- Maintain a positive tone
- Respond to the customer’s concerns
By reacting professionally and positively, you’re able to prevent the need for future damage control.
Offer a resolution
For a well-rounded response, always offer a resolution to the reviewer’s problem. For example, let’s assume that a customer ordered a fragile item from your company and after receiving the item, it was damaged. As a possible resolution, you could offer a refund to the customer or you could send them a replacement item at no cost.
By offering a resolution to the customer’s problem, you’re able to reopen the door for the customer to give your company another chance. More often than not, after offering and following through with a resolution, customers will update their review with a more positive tone and favorable rating.
With a response and resolution, prospective customers will see that you’re willing to take time out of your day to ensure that customers are satisfied.
Make internal company changes
Sometimes a negative review can affect internal company changes. Maybe several customers have complained that your delivery services are too slow, so you change carriers or find ways to speed up the process. Or maybe you’ve received complaints about the wait times that customers face when calling your company with a question or concern, so you hire more customer service representatives.
The key here is finding ways to turn the negative into something positive. With bad online reviews comes a chance to review how your company conducts day-to-day business in hopes if making it better for everyone involved.
With the right business mindset, you can turn a negative business review into constructive criticism. By making changes to your business processes, you’re able to improve customer experience while also making positive impacts within your company.
Bad online customer reviews are all part of owning a business. But, by taking the proper steps to acknowledge and remedy the situation, your business can come out ahead. Be sure to follow these steps to overcome bad online reviews and to maintain a positive online reputation.