Everyone’s got an opinion, and unfortunately as a business owner some of these opinions could cause your business a lot of trouble. Managing your online reputation is a must-do item on your daily checklist. Forget to do so, and you might find people deserting you in droves. Bad reviews are a reality of online life. They are so easy to post, and could influence large segments of the audience on your side or not. The key is having a lot more of the favorable to outweigh the unavoidable negative.
What to do with a negative review
Here are three steps to proactively deal with the occasional negative review.
- Customer service must be a top priority – Many times the reason why companies are in the position of dealing with a especially nasty online review is they failed to attend to business as soon as the problem first came up. Oftentimes the customer will have attempted to connect, but received no response, and felt as though they had no choice but to air their problems online at a review site. Much of this can be avoided by taking a proactive stance with respect to monitoring your onsite and social media channels, so you’ll notice when a problem starts.
- Deal professionally with people – Whatever you do, don’t inflame the problem by resorting to vitriolic he said, she said types of encounters online. This will NEVER work in your favor, even if you’re right. Remain professional, generous, and remember your aim is to keep a customer, or at least not lose more of them! The real problem customers are few, and not worth the potential damage they could do if you get into it with them!
- Foster positive reviews – One way you can actively help your online reputation is soliciting positive reviews of your products or services form your satisfied customers. Most are glad to help, and if these appear on a regular basis, the chances that the occasional negative review will stand a chance of remaining high in the search results are small. Consider it as not only as managing your online reputation, but as a way of promoting your business, for free!
The bottom line in dealing with negative reviews is to be aware when they occur, handle customers with respect and professionalism, and make maintaining your online reputation a very high priority! In this day of instant communication, you virtually have no choice!