Getting a bad review might not be the end of the world, but if you don’t approach it with the right attitude, it can turn into a problem that will not go away easily.
If you are running a large enterprise, a few bad reviews might not hurt you at all, but if you run a small business, you need to be really careful, because unfortunately, they can tarnish your reputation forever.
Since there are plenty of online platforms where people can post their review regarding a product, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Foursquare, bad reviews can find their way to your potential customers, and even to the first page of Google Search.
In order to be able to mitigate the effects of bad reviews, first you need to monitor what’s being said about your business online. The best way to do this would be to use Google Alert and track all the mentions of your business online.
Also, since everyone is on social media these days, you will need to keep track of the reviews using Social Mention. Once you have sorted that out, you can begin to handle the situation. Here are 6 essential rules you need to follow if you want to manage bad online reviews properly.
1. Don’t Ignore the Problem
While a single bad review might not be a cause for concern, if they keep on piling up, and you do nothing about, you are sending a bad message to your future customers. First of all, they only get to hear one side of the story, that of a disgruntled customer. That alone can significantly alter their perception of your business.
Also, there is the fact that, by not addressing the issue at all, you will come off as disinterested and only after your customer’s money. Of course, there are exceptions. If all the bad reviews are constantly posted by a single person, or if they are written by someone who is not in the right state of mind, then it’s probably best to ignore them, because interacting with them will only make the situation worse.
2. Offer a Solution
Simply saying you’re sorry might be enough in some cases, and it would be better if you would actually do something about it. That way, you can turn a potential crisis into a winning situation for your business.
Apologize for your mistake, and propose a potential solution. If the customer is being difficult about the problem and refuses to cooperate, despite your best efforts, that speaks more about them and their intentions than it does about your business, which means the others will see it that way as well.
In case they are interested in resolving the issue, you can offer then a discount, or give them something for free. That way, you will demonstrate that you care about your business, as well as your customers.
3. Turn It into a Learning Experience
One of the most time-consuming and challenging things about running your own business is doing market research. With all those reviews available online about your company, half of your work is already done. You need to focus on making use of the reviews you receive from your customers.
Good reviews are a sign that you are on the right track. Bad reviews are equally valuable, and they indicate that you should change certain things or tweak your approach. For example, if the shipments are late because of the supplier, change your supplier.
4. Don’t Get into Arguments
The golden rule or responding to bad reviews is to not get into any arguments. Instead of fixing the issue, fighting with the person which left you a bad review will only add fuel to the fire, not to mention that they will look right, and you and your business will come off as rude. Act like a professional, regardless of how the other party is reacting.
5. Never Pay for Good Reviews
Some businesses try and fix the problem by paying for good reviews, in order to mitigate several bad ones. While it might seem like a logical solution, at some point you will get caught, which will then send a torrent of bad reviews your way, and possibly end your business. Even if your reviews are bad, it’s even worse when potential customers think of your business as dishonest.
6. Know the System
Familiarize yourself with review websites like Yelp, Google Places, TripAdvisor, and so on, so that you are fully aware of all the options you have at your disposal. They may offer the possibility of responding to user reviews, or you may be able to ask them to remove a problematic review if there is any reason for it.
Handling a bad review will always put you a tough spot. But, if you decide to follow the tips laid out in this article, you will be able to resolve the issue and come out as a winner, every single time.
About the Author: Micheal Gilmore is an entrepreneur and marketing consultant at Resumesplanet CV writing service. He loves writing about business, marketing, productivity and personal growth. Micheal is also a passionate career advisor and facilitator. Follow him on Twitter.