Negative reviews – everyone is going to get them. How you handle them is the difference between winning or losing at getting new customers into your business when they search for you online.

Utilizing reviews begins with responding quickly to the comments that truly demand your attention – those that could be harmful to your Online Reputation for your business. We recommend responding within 48 hours to a negative review.

WARNING: Do not be tempted to delete a negative review. If you are caught, the damage to your brand’s reputation will be far worse. And…
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t start an online battle with the reviewer. You won’t win that war, trust me.

With some negative feedback, it will be evident to both you and the average Internet user that the commenter is a troll or someone with a problem that is not within your power to solve. In these cases, flag them to the moderators and ignore them in the hopes the comment will later be removed.

When responding to the reviewers that require assistance, get in touch within 48 hours. Do what you can to resolve the issue and always be polite and courteous. Apologize and take public ownership of any mistakes you have made.

If this means sending a wider “troubleshooting” e-mail to customers who may be affected, do so. Everyone makes mistakes, but it could enhance your reputation if you are seen to care about your customers’ needs and genuinely want to offer them a better service. How do you do that?

Answer all your reviews! It shows you care what your customers have to say and everyone likes to be heard.
If a negative issue keeps cropping up in your reviews, you may need to regroup and think about whether you can make wider changes to your products or operations.

Try to see through your customers’ eyes as much as possible. Analyzing your responses online and making changes, you may be able to begin anticipating your customers’ needs and start truly giving them the 5-star experiences they want from you.

Use customer insight data and wider trends to help you future-proof your business. Generating reviews for your business requires careful consideration and a multidisciplinary approach. From marketing to analytics skills, the efforts you place into building your online reputation will pay off in sales revenue and increased traffic to your business.

Have a great week!