3 Ways to Deal With Bad Online Reviews
In the online world today and with the amount of people that use the internet and Social Media websites on a daily basis, a business’s reputation can be shattered in a matter of seconds.
All it takes now is for one customer to have a bad experience and leave a negative review on Google local, a bad comment on Facebook, a bad review on Trip Advisor or on any other review website. On the other hand, a business’s reputation can be greatly improved with good reviews online.
What is the effect of a bad review?
As you probably know, one bad review can seriously harm the reputation of your business. This could potentially have the following impacts:
- Result in less people wanting to buy your products or services
- Harder to get new customers
- Loss of existing customers
- Loss of profits and money
All of these could seriously harm the performance of your website/business and could potentially put a stop to you making a living. Therefore, negative online reviews need to be dealt with in the correct way.
Some of the Most Common Review Websites
There are many places where people go to leave online reviews about your business. These include:
- Social Media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
- Google Local (For more information on Google reviews in particular and how they can benefit your business, please visit the following link - Reasons why Google reviews are important for your business.
- Review websites like Yelp, Free Index and Trip Advisor.
It doesn’t take 2 minutes for people to leave reviews on any of the websites above and your reputation can either suffer or prosper depending on the nature of the review. If you do get a bad review, you need to take appropriate action to deal with it and maintain the image of your company.
Strategies for Dealing with Bad Online Reviews
1) Get more Good Reviews
One of the very best strategies for dealing with bad online reviews is to just go out and get more good ones. If the amount of good reviews you have heavily outnumbers your bad reviews then it is more likely that people will believe the good ones. You can get more good reviews by:
- Creating profiles on review sites such as Yelp, Free Index and many others.
- Encouraging customers to leave comments on your Google Local Page, Facebook page or on any other review sites you are listed on.
- Asking happy clients if they are willing to write a testimonial that you can put on your website and also use on review sites.
By following these simple steps you are well on your way to getting more good reviews online; meaning the bad ones won’t have as big of an impact on your company image. Also, remember the more good reviews you can get, the more your business is going to benefit.
2) Reputation Management
Reputation management or brand management is extremely crucial in the world of online reviews. For example, if someone searches for your company name online then your website will most likely come up as well as other websites you have profiles on. These can include Social Media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and YouTube (to name a few), directory listings, press releases, review websites and more.
So, if you have a bad comment or review on one of these sites and it ranks on the first page for your brand name, then actions need to be taken. Brand management is about taking the necessary steps to ensure your online reputation is sustained and not harmed. Having a bad review ranking on page 1 of Google is not going to do your reputation any good at all, and you are likely to end up losing out on potential customers to a competitor.
Actions you can take to manage your brand
Okay, let’s say there is a bad review you have on page 1 and you need to get it off there, what do you do? There are a number of things you can do including creating other Social Media profiles that you don’t currently have and being active on these, adding your business to more quality online directory websites, creating company videos that include your brand name in them and more. All of these things can rank on page 1 as long as you use them in the right way and build appropriate links to them. The aim then is to get some of these other profiles ranking on the first page of Google, pushing the negative reviews off.
Another way and one of the most effective ways you can deal with a bad review online, is to respond to it. Always be responsive instead of reactive. However, you need to make sure you do this in the right way. You NEVER want to react badly to the comment and make the situation worse than it is. Here are a few tips on responding to negative reviews:
- Take a step back, read the review and think carefully about what the person is saying and how you need to write back to them.
- Start by thanking them for their feedback
- Try and find more information about the experience they had and let them know of any changes that have happened to make their experience with you better in the future
- Offer them discount on future orders or their money back to try and earn their trust
As we all know, a negative review can feel like a punch in the gut because you care about your business and it is your asset. However, as long as you take the necessary steps mentioned in this article and are proactive with reviews instead of reactive then your brand’s reputation will prosper and not suffer.