Customer reviews are an inseparable aspect of online reputation management that no business can ignore today. While sometimes you get a confidence-boosting five-star review, sometimes you get the disheartening negative review with a single star. But as gut-wrenching as it may seem, you have to act on it sincerely.
Now, these negative reviews may be inevitable, but most often ill treatment of the reviews cause more damage. Ultimately, it all depends on how businesses respond to them. When handled with care, any potential issues highlighted in the negative reviews can be mitigated.
Taking a smart approach in dealing with these reviews will help you salvage the reputation of your brand and business. You wouldn’t want to turn a bad situation worse by making some of the review gaffes we’re going to discuss here.
It’s reasonable and natural to get defensive when a client points out an unresolved complaint in his/her online review. You've possibly shed copious amounts of blood, sweat, and tears for your venture, so negative comments will hurt.
But irrespective of whether the review or rating is fair or not, resist losing your temper. An angry response will only drive potential clients away and cause long-term damage to your reputation.
Even though there are some exceptions, negative reviews are rarely left without good reason. Generally, most people leave a negative review to help an organisation improve a product/service/policy - they're really not the enemy. When handling negative feedback, it's vital to see the problem from the customer's perspective so you can respond and resolve properly.
Don't just focus on their anger or frustration - read into the language used and try to understand where things went wrong.
Another mistake you must avoid is acting unaffected and unfazed in the face of a bad review, to the extent of completely neglecting the implications of the problematic consumer experience. These reviews aren’t going to go away, and their presence may influence the decisions of your potential clients.
To reduce the impact of a negative feedback, make an effort and engage with the reviewer—either privately or publicly —and offer resolution-driven responses. Make sure that you show that you care.
If you notice a pattern in the negative reviews that are posted, it’s possible that there’s something wrong with what you are doing. If your response to this is to simply apologise or offer refunds without initiating any other meaningful action, you’ll continue to receive negative feedback.
A significant aspect of reputation management is recognising and rectifying the things that are wrong. For instance, if negative ratings consistently touch on the services, it may be time to look into change things up in that aspect.
If a review doesn’t reflect on an ongoing problem, and the consumer has a relatively minor complaint or concern, the best approach may be to apologise and offer to contact them privately. This indicates concern and attentiveness.
However, this only works if you actually follow up. If you fail to do so, that will become as well known as any other negative reviews. This way, you will also miss the opportunity to connect with an unhappy client and find a way to make things right with them.
Other than the above-mentioned five mistakes, here’s another one that many online businesses are guilty of making.
If you’re in control of the reviews that are published about your business, you need to be extra careful. You may be tempted to simply remove the negative reviews, leaving only the positive feedback. That’s a huge mistake. That’s because nobody is going to believe that everything about any business is all about ‘sunshine and roses’.
More significantly, people will simply post reviews in places where you have no control over the narrative. So, you’ll only end up tarnishing the reputation of your business by deleting the reviews instead of addressing them.
Protecting your brand and your brand's reputation are the most important responsibilities for any organisation. By responding sincerely to negative feedback in a professional manner, you can help promote your business the right way.
Nicholas is a passionate blogger and an irreverent academic writer. He has always believed in quality, be it his personal or professional life. With years of experience in academic writing, He is now on a mission to expose scammers disguised as reliable academic writing services. Nicholas’s reviews are based on thorough research and practical scenarios. He strongly feels that a bright future is every student’s birthright.