Should you just ignore all online reviews and let people talk? Does it ever make sense to respond to a negative review online? Did you know there are ethical and legitimate ways to improve your amount of good reviews and even turn bad situations into positive reviews? We detail all the options here. Local Small Business Implications For Review Sites. Local review sites like Yelp can be considered a boon, a bane or simply part of the background of doing business in today’s online world.
Pages of glowing reviews can drive new customers excitedly in the door, but as the contractor who sued knows, too many bad reviews, or even one harsh accusatory one, can perform serious damage. Suing a reviewer is obviously an extreme reaction. Here are some other options for dealing with online reviews:
Many business choose to just let all their online reviews stand. This particular isn’t a terrible approach because even responding to bad reviews can be tricky business. Even in the days before the internet 100k factory people talk, what are you gonna do? But in case you decide not to respond, at least do the following…
It’s easy to recall what you’re doing well and dismiss bad reviewers as a few of “Negative Nelsons”. Yet too many negative online reviews can hurt your sales so it’s better to hear unhealthy reports. It may turn out there there are indeed issues of which you’ve already been unaware. Once addressed, the bad reviews will reduce into the past and be replaced with positive reviews. And if the critics note the positive changes (we’ve seen this a lot), previous and future customers can be assured the problems of the past have been fixed.
If you do determine to reply to an adverse review on the website, it’s important not to blame or insult the customer. Don’t come across as protective or sarcastic and don’t get dragged into hashing out there online the details of these experience. Reviews are mainly read by customers and potential customers so they’re more likely to affiliate with your disgruntled guest if it seems like an argument is happening.
Never get into an argument or use sarcasm. State that you are truly sorry the client had a bad experience, suggest that you take their concerns seriously, emphasize your commitment to quality and let everyone know that you or your staff are available and trained to address problems immediately because your goal is to make sure everyone simply leaves a satisfied customer. This specific will make it easier for readers to empathize with a caring business owner and serve make softer the impact of the negative review.
Needless to say this only works if there are only a few negative reviews. See our next step to learn how to build up a bank of good reviews to protect your average against the occasional complaint. It’s better to build up basics of good reviews than to be caught off guard by excessive bad reviews later. Also, the fewer reviews you have in general, the greater the bad ones will stick out. So stack the deck with good ones by encouraging the quiet, happy customers to speak up.
Mistakes are going to happen, but when you’ve created an environment in which your staff knows that an unsatisfied customer experience is unacceptable, correcting mistakes can be a major opportunity. The bad situation that becomes correct makes a perfect little mini-drama. As long as the story has a happy closing, their journey from initial high hopes, to problem, to happy resolution creates the perfect anecdote for your customers to reveal online and with the friends.