Are negative online reviews affecting your small business? Does your Yelp or Angie’s List listing negatively affect the first impression that patients or clients get? Well, worry not! Here’s a play by play of what to do with negative online reviews.
Don’t lose your cool. Lashing out at that “Negative Nancy” reviewer is probably the worst thing you could do. Becoming defensive is never the answer, because as the saying goes, “the customer is always right!” So, the more level-headed you can be about that negative online review, the better off you will be.
Respond. Don’t look at this negative review as the end of the online world – this is an opportunity for your business! This is where it is important to have a system in place that allows you to track your online reputation. The sooner you can respond to a negative online review and in public, the more control you will have of the situation. Again, be level-headed in your response, and use the following few guidelines:
1. Apologize. And be sincere about it! Even if you feel you haven’t done anything wrong, find something for which you can genuinely apologize.
2. Flip it. Say a disgruntled client rips on your company on Facebook because, oh, you know, your company is “totally the worst OMG. #hateit.” You can quickly turn it around by reaching out to say something like, “I’m sorry that you’ve had an unexpectedly bad experience. We serve hundreds of clients like you all across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and attempt to improve the lives of each individual we serve.”
3. Take action. Why did this negative online reviewer have such a bad time? Is there a way to remedy the situation? How can we prevent more reviews like this one? This requires a little bit of internal leg work, but it is important to take the time to do an honest self-assessment of you and your business.
And, the final step of what to do with online negative reviews:
Start a Review Posting Campaign with positive reviews from your customers. It can be difficult to get reviews from customers who are satisfied with the level of customer service they expected, whereas the impassioned and enraged negative reviews online seem to come pretty easy. Combat these online negative reviews, and fight for a positive first impression on your potential clients or patients.