In case you just ignore all online reviews and let people talk? Does it ever make sense to reply to a negative review online? Did you know there are ethical and legitimate ways to increase your amount of good reviews and even turn bad situations into positive reviews? We detail all the options here. Local Small Business Implications For Evaluation Sites. Local review sites like Yelp can be a boon, a bane or simply part of the background of doing business in today’s online world.
Web pages of glowing reviews can drive new customers excitedly in the doorway, but as the contractor who sued knows, too many bad reviews, or even one harsh accusatory one 100k factory revolution review, can perform serious damage. Suing a reviewer is obviously an extreme reaction. Here are some other options for dealing with online reviews:
Many business choose to just let all their online reviews stand. This isn’t a terrible approach because even addressing bad reviews can be tricky business. Even in the days before the internet – people talk, what are you gonna do? But although you may decide not to reply, at least do the following…
It’s easy to recall what you’re doing well and dismiss bad reviewers as a few of “Negative Nelsons”. But too many negative online reviews can hurt your sales so it’s better to hear the bad information. It may turn out there are indeed issues of which you’ve been unaware. Once addressed, the bad reviews will fade into the past and be replaced with positive reviews. And if the critics note the positive changes (we’ve seen this a lot), previous and future customers can be assured the problems of the past have been remedied.
If you do determine to reply to a negative review on the website, it’s important not to blame or insult the customer. Don’t come across as defensive or sarcastic and don’t get dragged into hashing out online the details of their experience. Reviews are mostly read by customers and potential prospects so they’re more likely to side with your disgruntled guest whether it can feel like an argument is taking place.
Never get into an argument or use sarcasm. State that you are truly sorry the consumer had a bad experience, suggest that you take their concerns seriously, emphasize your commitment to quality and let everyone know that you or your staff are available and trained to address problems instantly because your goal is to be certain everyone simply leaves a satisfied customer. This will make it easier for readers to empathize with a caring business owner and serve make softer the impact of the negative review.
Obviously this only works if there are just a few negative reviews. See our next step to learn how to build up a bank of good reviews to protect your average against the occasional issue. It’s better to build up a base of good reviews than to be caught off guard by excessive bad reviews later. Also, the fewer reviews you have in basic, the greater the bad ones will jump out. So collection the deck with good ones by encouraging the quiet, happy customers to speak up.
Mistakes are going to happen, but when you’ve created an environment in which your staff knows that an unsatisfied customer experience is unacceptable, correcting mistakes can be considered a major opportunity. The bad situation that will get correct produces a perfect little mini-drama. Provided that the tale has a happy finishing, their journey from preliminary high hopes, to problem, to happy resolution creates the perfect anecdote for your customers to share online and with their friends.