How to respond to negative online reviews

It’s got to be one of the most frustrating things about running a business in the digital day and age: a customer who smiles to your face, then leaves a negative online review. Here’s how to spin that negative into a positive for your business.

An online presence is crucial for successful businesses nowadays; even at the risk of a bad review. And unfortunately, the risks are real.

In fact, the difference between a three star rating and a four star rating can be as much as a 9% difference in business revenue.

Rest assured however that it’s a two way street.

A bad review can provide you with the opportunity to spin a negative into a positive, attracting clients with your gracious nature in the process.

With that in mind, here are our top six tips on how to twist a bad review to your advantage.

1. Stay cool, calm and collected

It’s easy to feel upset and lash out when you read a negative review, but cool down before responding to a client’s complaints.

Remember you’re on a stage. It’s not just one person who will be seeing your response, but many others, all of whom are potential clients.

Give yourself a chance to reflect and respond in a professional and polite manner

2. Once you’ve cooled down, respond

A timely response goes a long way in showing how attentive you are to your clients’ needs.

It’s important to reach out to clients who leave negative reviews sooner rather than later and tackle the issue head on.

It also shows how efficient you are when dealing with any concerns and highlights how keen you are to address any perceived problems your business may have.

3. Offer an offline olive branch

Show that you’re genuinely keen to resolve the matter by offering to get in touch with them outside the online world.

Make sure you let them know the best way to get in touch with you so that you can address and resolve the matter. However, be sure not to request their details.

Not only is this a great tactic in retaining an otherwise disgruntled customer, but those who stumble across the post will see that you’re a person who makes a lot of effort in ensuring customer satisfaction remains at peak levels.

4. Ask for fake reviews to be removed

In an ideal world there wouldn’t be those out there with nefarious motives looking to bring your business down.

Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world – especially online.

Do your research. Sometimes reviews are fake or written by competition. Try your best to figure out which ones are real complaints, and which reviews are simply made up.

If you have strong evidence that a person who wrote a review used a fake or suspicious account, get in touch with the review website. You can request for it to be taken down, citing the evidence you’ve compiled.

5. Ask happy clients for feedback

Encouraging clients who were happy with your services to also leave feedback is another great way to combat negative reviews.

That’s because one negative review in between a swag of positive reviews can easily be dismissed as an anomaly, or simply a bad day.

6. Respond to a positive reviews

To avoid looking like a busy-body that only responds to criticism, make sure you thank reviewers who leave positive reviews as well.

This indicates to readers that you’re an active member of the website, and not just a crisis management specialist.

Final word

Of course, we’re always happy to leave our customers a positive referral. So if you’d like to get the ball rolling on boosting your ranking, get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to vouch for you.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without the prior written consent of Finance Matters, which is where this article also appeared.

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