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How to deal with Bad Reviews in 5 easy steps

By May 31, 2019 September 16th, 2019 No Comments

Getting a negative review hurts. It feels like all the time and effort you’ve put into your business, is threatened by something beyond your control. Your reputation, suddenly trembles like a house of cards. A dreaded lower-star score is out there, in the internet, for everybody to see!

Don’t worry. Although you can’t fully control a bad review given to your business, there are a few very important steps you can do to minimise its potential damage. Here’s how.

Step 1: Be enlightened
If someone gives you a bad review, there is one simple thing you need to do before anything else: know about it. Sounds simple, but it’s not! Today it’s easier than ever for customers to write a review, no filters applied. You need to be aware, daily, of the reviews you’re receiving, specially in the big platforms like Google and Facebook. If you don’t, you may end up paying a big price: 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews (Business2Community). Ouch!

Step 2: Take action quickly

People take customer reviews very seriously. In fact, 97% of shoppers say reviews influence their buying decisions (Fan and Fuel). If you take too long to react, that 1-star review can seriously damage your business. Don’t sleep on it.

Step 3: Minimise the damage…reply

You need to look at a bad customer review as an opportunity to show your customers that you care. How do you do that? By responding to a bad review. Google My Business recommends replying to reviews and explains its importance very clearly: “Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.” Plus, there’s a very delicious cherry on top: responding to reviews not only builds trust with your customers, but with Google itself. A business that replies to reviews, shows credibility and Google is all about recommending the most credible business. Responding to reviews, therefore, can also improve your SEO.

Step 4: Minimise the damage even more…take action

There are several moves you can do here, depending on the review:

– Say thanks: as a business owner, you can always be grateful to the customer for pointing it out something that needs to be done better, and giving your business a chance to improve.

– Say sorry: it’s a way of showing that you feel empathy with the client’s frustration. Even if the review is purely critical and there’s nothing you can do to change the situation, it’ll help your customer feel understood and relevant.

– Follow up and resolve: let the customer know what actions you’ll take to resolve the issue, i.e. investigate more, talk to your staff, replace a product. Sometimes you’ll need to do a follow up over the phone, not just online.

– Compensate: you may want to compensate the customer who gave you the bad review by giving a discount. Depending on your product or service, you may prefer to offer the discount offline, not to set a precedent and tempt other customers to post a bad review just to get the same treatment.

Step 5: Closure

If the situation is right, you can politely ask the customer to update the bad review, or even remove it. Remember Google makes it easy for people to edit or delete their reviews.

The most important step of all: be proactive. Stay on top of your reputation and don’t be at the mercy of bad reviews. Review management and control is not only possible, but absolutely essential! Learn more about a great and affordable review management tool here.

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