Published December 22, 2021 by WC Team

The Dos And Don'ts of Dealing With Negative Online Reviews

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An Overview Of Online Reviews

Potential clients are reading what others are saying about you online. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your business's internet reviews.  

According to a YouGov.com poll 79% of adult Internet users in the United States read online evaluations before making a purchase or visiting a business. 

Positive reviews are a great tool to draw consumers and clients to your small business.

Although a lot of small company owners ignore internet review sites out of fear of receiving a negative rating. If this describes you then we’d say: take it easy. According to another recent poll just one in every 25 businesses has been influenced by a negative internet review.

The "Don'ts" of Dealing With Negative Online Reviews

Don’t Become Defensive

It's understandable to be irritated when someone criticizes your company. Especially if you believe the complaint is unjustified. 

You work hard to operate your business as efficiently as possible. So, a negative review might feel like an attack.

Though reacting in anger is counterproductive and may result in a viral nightmare. No small company owner wants to be known as the furious entrepreneur who couldn't deal with unfavorable comments. Take some time to organize your ideas before responding. Maybe even send yourself an email to reread later and see how your ideas translate on screen.

It may be difficult to sound truly sorry and not defensive if you believe the scenario was a pure misinterpretation. Even if you were correct then try not to point it out to the customer as it will just aggravate the issue.

Don’t Avoid It

Ignoring a poor internet review is nearly as harmful as responding with an expletive laden rant. Firstly, because the reviewer will feel entirely justified in his or her outrage. Because you aren't addressing the issue.

Secondly other current and potential customers will begin to worry if you truly care. Or if they can anticipate the same dismissive treatment if they have a terrible experience.

Being indifferent to a negative review may send the message to existing and prospective customers that you don't care about customer service. And circumstances like this are not good for your company’s reputation.

Don’t Engage In An Online War

No matter how nice your initial reaction is you may still encounter a troll. And they will just be persistent in continuing to complain online.

If your encounter threatens to devolve into a name calling match then reiterate that you're eager to fix the issue. And invite the individual to contact you offline. 

Other readers will notice that you are reasonable while the troll is not. However other good customers may believe you're just as petty as the complainer if you interact with someone who is only looking for a battle.

Don’t Request Good Ratings To Conceal Bad Ones

This means hiding poor reviews by asking consumers for good ones. Although to begin with the judgment is still out on whether you should aggressively solicit consumer feedback. 

The finest evaluations for your company are those submitted by consumers. Especially those who felt obligated to rave about how wonderful your company is. 

So, if you have to force individuals to say nice things about your company it won't sound genuine on your review sites. Customers will know what's going on if you ask for unfavorable reviews. 

If there are many phony-sounding good reviews among actual bad ones then buyers are more likely to believe the negative ones.

The "Do's" of Dealing With Negative Online Reviews

Do Recognize And Apologize For The Problem

Most clients who criticize the Internet, as in real life, want to be heard. Before solving the situation, you must sympathize with them and apologize without criticizing them. 

Demonstrate that you sincerely regret that a consumer did not leave your company on a favorable note.

And if you do apologize and explain the problem you may persuade a client to alter their view. This way you can easily transform a negative advocate into a positive one! 

33% of unfavorable Yelp reviews turn out good when you take the time out to reply to dissatisfied consumers.

Do Promote Your Company's Favorable Image Tactfully

Explain why the guest's experience is unusual in truthful and non-condescending terms without seeming preachy.

Include some of your company's qualities in your response if it feels right. Responses are an excellent opportunity to flip the script and depict your company in a favorable light. While still making the client feel heard.

Do Things Honestly And Stay Genuine 

You never want to come across as though you're reading from a script. 

When responding to bad internet reviews then you or any workers should use your real names (or first name and last initial). Describe your job in the company and include your direct phone number or email address.

Sincerity is essential when responding to bad evaluations. Reaching out to a consumer on a human basis is the simplest approach to be real.

Do Take It Off The Internet

Always leave a genuine well thought out public remark and then take the discussion offline to prevent an online conversation that everyone can see.

Taking the matter offline indicates that you're genuinely prepared to tackle this situation. And that you're not simply apologizing for showing the public.

The Biggest "Do" Of All

Use bad evaluations as a learning lesson once you've dealt with the problem correctly.

Something is wrong if you routinely receive negative reviews or if a large number of reviews express the same problem. This includes delayed service in your restaurant or inadequate variety in your store. This isn't a one-time occurrence.

Consistently unfavorable feedback indicates that it is time to make a change. Think of it as free market research!

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