When it comes to negative online reviews, it’s important to remember that not all publicity is good publicity. Bad reviews can be costly for businesses—especially small businesses.
According to a study by Harvard Business School, a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
So, how can you handle negative online reviews like a pro and minimize the damage they can do to your business? Here are ten tips:
Tips for Handling Negative Online Reviews Like a Pro
The following tips will help you handle negative online reviews like a pro and prevent them from damaging your business:
1. Respond Promptly
The first tip to handling negative online reviews is to respond promptly. Don’t wait days or even hours to address the review. Respond as soon as possible so that the reviewer knows you’re taking the review seriously and want to address their concerns.
This step shows that you’re committed to customer service, allowing you to resolve the issue before it escalates.
2. Be Professional
When responding to a negative review, it’s important to be professional. This means keeping your response respectful, even if the review is inflammatory or unfair. You never want to stoop to the level of the reviewer.
Being professional will show that you’re a serious business owner who takes your customers seriously.
3. Address the Issue
When responding to a negative review, it’s important to address the issue. Don’t rant or be defensive in your response. Just focus on addressing the reviewer’s concerns and trying to resolve the issue.
This will show that you’re willing to work with the reviewer to resolve the problem.
Many people who leave negative reviews want to be heard. If you can show that you’re listening and willing to work with them, they may be more likely to update their review or even remove it altogether.
4. Don’t Get Personal
Don’t attack the reviewer or get personal in your response. This will only make the situation worse. Remember, you want to resolve the issue, not make it worse.
In business, it’s always best to stay professional and courteous, even when someone is being rude.
5. Apologize if necessary
If you messed up, apologize. Don’t try to defend yourself or make excuses. Just apologize and move on. This will show that you’re willing to own up to your mistakes and commit to resolving the issue.
It won’t cost you anything to admit that you were wrong, and it could help diffuse the situation.
6. Offer a Solution
If applicable, offer a solution in your response. This shows that you’re not just trying to brush the issue under the rug but committed to resolving it.
For example, if a customer is unhappy with a product, you could offer to send them a replacement or refund their purchase.
7. Take the Conversation Offline
If possible, take the conversation offline. This allows you to resolve the issue without it being public. It also shows that you’re willing to work with the customer to resolve the issue.
To take the conversation offline, ask the customer to contact you directly so that you can address their concerns.
8. Don’t Delete Negative Reviews
It may be tempting to delete negative reviews, but it’s not a good idea. First, it looks disingenuous. Second, it could incite more negativity.
Instead of deleting negative reviews, respond to them professionally (as outlined above). This will show that you’re committed to customer service and willing to work with customers to resolve their concerns.
9. Monitor Your Reviews
The best way to handle negative reviews is to prevent them in the first place. To do this, you need to monitor your reviews regularly.
There are a few different ways to do this. You can set up Google Alerts for your business name or use a tool like ReviewTrackers to track your reviews.
By monitoring your reviews, you’ll be able to address any negative reviews quickly and resolve the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.
10. Be Honest
If you can’t resolve the issue, be honest about it. Don’t try to make promises you can’t keep or brush the issue under the rug.
Be upfront with the reviewer and tell them that you’re sorry, but you can’t do anything to help them.
Honesty is always the best policy, especially in business.
Negative online reviews can be a major headache for business owners. However, you can handle them like a pro by following these tips. By being professional, addressing the issue, apologizing, and offering a solution, you can often resolve the issue without becoming too much of a problem.
7. Give unique responses to each negative review
Another way to handle negative reviews is by responding uniquely to each one. This shows that you’re not just copying and pasting the same response to each review.
It also allows you to address the specific concerns of each reviewer. This can be especially helpful if you have multiple reviews with similar concerns.
8. Use positive reviews to offset the negative ones
If you have a lot of positive reviews, you can use them to offset the negative ones. This shows that you’re not just hiding the negative reviews but that you have happy customers.
You can do this by featuring your positive reviews on your website or even responding to the negative reviews with links to your positive reviews.
9. Ask the reviewer to edit or remove the review
If you can resolve the issue with the reviewer, you can ask them to edit or remove their review. This is often a good solution if the reviewer is happy with how you handled their concerns.
If you have access to their contact information, you can reach out to them directly and ask them to remove or edit the review.
10. Encourage customers to leave reviews
The best way to handle negative reviews is to prevent them in the first place. One of the best ways to do this is by encouraging customers to leave reviews.
There are a few different ways to do this. You can send follow-up emails after a purchase or include a call-to-action on your receipt.
By encouraging customers to leave reviews, you can get more positive reviews to offset the negative ones.
Negative online reviews are always going to be a problem for businesses. However, you can handle them like a pro by following these tips. By being professional, addressing the issue, apologizing, and offering a solution, you can often resolve the issue without becoming too much of a problem.