There are many ways for consumers to review products and services online—from sites dedicated to reviews to sites that market the products or services to the comments sections on blogs where the products or services are mentioned. Perhaps you have a review feature on your own website. When the reviews are positive, it’s a sign that you’re doing the right thing. But when you get a bad review, it can feel like a slap in the face.
When you receive a negative review, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Consumers pay a lot of attention to reviews, and studies have shown that negative reviews will often influence a consumer to spend their money on something else. By taking a few proactive steps, however, you can turn the situation around and come out on top.
For some businesses, monitoring reviews can be as simple as frequent checks of sites like Yelp, AngiesList, TripAdvisor, Google+, CitySearch, and so on, or setting up a Google Alert with the name of your business or product so that whenever it gets mentioned you receive an email. For others, however, it may involve a more sophisticated approach, such as hiring an online reputation management service to scour the Internet looking for mentions. These services offer convenient tools for monitoring reviews and provide an easy way to respond to bad reviews.
As soon as you see a bad review, nip it in the bud. You should have a plan in advance for how to respond to a bad review. If the comment is blatantly offensive, many sites offer a way to request that the comment be removed. But the most important thing is to respond promptly. The sooner you respond the better, as it leaves less time for others to add their own bad reviews.
Personalize, But Don’t Make It Personal
Take care in how you craft your response. It’s a good idea to use your own name so as not to come across impersonally. In your response, don’t ever turn the negative review back on the reviewer. This will only make the situation worse. Keep your response positive and emphasize your desire to set the situation right.
Consider Prospective Customers
When crafting your response, bear in mind that you are not only speaking to the person who wrote the bad review. You are also speaking to people you will read the bad review—and your response to it. Try not to make excuses. Simply take responsibility for the issue and offer a solution.
A well-considered response to a bad review can actually be an opportunity to show yourself as a concerned and responsive businessperson. If you handle the situation right, it can actually help your business and turn a bad situation into a positive tool for promotion. Do you have experience with a bad review? Leave a comment in the section below.
(Image by David Castillo Dominici)