Online Reputation Management, Responding to a Negative Review

Your Online Reputation Management Needs To Be Negative Review Proof

When it comes to website SEO and drawing visitors to your company’s services and products, online reviews are becoming crucial. With as much as 90% of consumers looking at online reviews as their guiding rod in whether to visit a company website or pass it by, more businesses are facing the difficult process of good Online Reputation Management. But while some feel getting good reviews posted is the main concern, addressing negative reviews efficiently can be even more critical. Yet, many businesses with excellent customer service in some areas, can lose their cool when facing that one-star rating on Google.

online reputation management - customer responseSo you received a negative rating, whether deserved or not, let’s face it, the review stings. No business owner likes hearing that they did not deliver their very best. But while there is urgency in responding to a bad review, an inappropriate response can be even more damaging than no response at all. So here are few tips to consider that can provide positive online reputation management while dealing with a negative review.

Online Reputation Management While Dealing With A Negative Review

Take a Deep Breath and Do Not Respond in Anger OR Defense. We all have seen them, the company response that sounds like they are bashing the negative reviewer. Keep a cool head, even if the review is a particularly nasty one. Make sure you respond professionally–always! Potential customers are smart enough to decipher when a reviewer is being petty or has an ax to grind. A positive response from you will show you are professional and care. Never use cussing or vulgar language. Always monitor your tone, best case scenario is to have a co-worker read the response before publishing.

Respond Quickly. While having the right frame of mind is important when responding to a negative review, don’t let a bad review go without a response for long. We are now in the age of instantaneous communication. A review on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter can literally be seen by hundreds of followers within a couple seconds. Letting it sit unattended will not make it go away, once a review is out there, good or bad, it is out there.

Apologize, Even If It’s Not Your Fault. Remember that you are not necessarily apologizing for the perceived bad service but more so for the customer’s unsatisfactory experience. Apologizing can cool the situation greatly and open up lines of communication. In addition, this shows potential customers that you care about your customers having a good experience. The old saying, “The Customer Is Always Right” still stands.

Online Reputation Management - restaurant customer

Try to Remedy The Situation. Once you have assessed the situation, try to come to a compromise that suits both you and the customer. If it is poor service or an error on your company’s part, make it right…quickly. We all know there are times that customers will not be happy no matter how great the service, the key is to try to offer something that will make the customer feel like that have been compensated. Offering a free product, reimbursing a shipping charge or giving a discount on a future order can work wonders. While in some cases the expense may not allow for this, keep in mind one poor review that appears unresolved can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of potential new customers.

Say Thank You. Always say thank you when responding. This is a customer after all. If you successfully address the negative review, they will continue to be. If there was a poor service issue, they have alerted you to something that could cost you future customers. Last, even if a compromise can’t be established, remember you have an audience of potential customers. Saying thank you shows your business if professional and courteous.

You Have Responded, Now What?

Okay you have responded. Whether your response saved the customer relationship or not, it is important to make sure that any errors on your business’s end are addressed immediately. If it was a product issue, perform a quality check as soon as possible. If it was a fault in service, address it with your employees quickly. Complaints about messages not be returned, rude phone etiquette, and poor customer service should be taken very seriously. Anytime questions of theft or criminal behavior could be involved, it is critical to consult with the proper authorities even if the customer has not involved them.

Online Reputation Management Before The Negative Review

online reputation management - star ratings

Good Online Reputation Management is proactive. It not only implements ways for negative reviews to be addressed quickly and with detailed attention but, also is proactive in sourcing good reviews.

With reviews being crucial in the potential customer’s decision process, it is imperative for companies to gain good reviews frequently. In addition, a good online reputation management plan will assure good reviews are published quickly after service and responded to with a thank you.

Are you looking for a way to enhance your online reputation management? The Mauldin Group’s team of experts can provide you with a program that can address your needs uniquely by increasing good reviews and actively managing any negative ones. Join us on January 24 for the first event in our official Marketing 101 series-Online Reputation Management. We will show you how to take your business from the bottom to the top!

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