How To Handle Negative Reviews

How To Handle Negative ReviewsWhile we all hope it never happens, from time to time a business might encounter having to learn how to handle negative reviews. Unfortunately, it is the rare negative review that can sometimes grab our attention and stand out among the other positive ones.

Why could that be? Customers expect to have good experiences with companies. So when they do have the experience that they expected, they do not often think to relay that experience in the form of an online review. Their expectations were met. What they thought should have happened, did happen. They do not see the need to write a review about a normal experience.

If you go over and above, they will want to rave about you. That is when you might see stellar online reviews.

The Impact of Negative Online Reviews

On the other hand, when someone is unhappy, statistics show that they will tell between 9 – 15 other people. One way they might do this, is by leaving a bad review online. When they do, it will reach far more than the 9 – 15 people they would otherwise tell. That can translate into not only a lost customer, but additional lost business as well.

As a business owner, you never want anything online that tarnishes what you have worked so hard to build. For this reason, it might be your first instinct to request for the negative review to be removed or flagged — or you may be tempted to ignore it. But the solution for handling a bad review isn’t any of those things. Instead, you can use it as an opportunity to turn it around for your good. So, if you ever encounter this, do you know how to handle negative reviews?

How To Handle Negative Reviews

Here are some tips for how to handle negative reviews.

Invite the reviewer to continue the conversation with you offline

First of all, acknowledge the review by responding to it on the public platform in which it was posted. Once you acknowledge it and formulate your response, invite the reviewer to call your office so that the right staff member can further address the issue at hand in an appropriate way and not in a public forum.

Operate proactively

The truth of the matter is that if your customers are constantly posting great things about you online, when one negative review comes in, it will not be as harmful as it was possibly intended to be. 

Operate proactively by constantly and consistently letting your customers know the places where you are collecting reviews online. Then, ask if they will be so kind as to share their experiences with your business in those places. Do this all the time, not just when someone posts a negative review.

There are many ways that you can alert your customers to the places where they can post reviews online. Place a sign in your office, ask them in person at your interactions, and/or put links to those reviews sites in your e-newsletters.

[Related article: Tips For Building Strong Business Relationships]

Take it as an opportunity to learn

Be honest with yourself when you read the review and ask yourself this, “Is there any truth in there you can learn from?” Sometimes hard hitting reviews are hard hitting because there is a slight bit of truth. Of course, this is not always the case. Sometimes people just post to vent and it is more about them than it is about your business. However, if there is something that rings true in the review, take it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and make improvements where needed.

Turn it around for good

When you respond to the negative review in the public forum, you are getting the opportunity to show your best side. Of course mistakes and bad situations do happen, and if so, be empathetic in your response. Humanize your response. When people can see that you care, even if the review is bad, it is an opportunity to turn it into something good. Also, if there is anything you need to do or can do to make it right, then take this as a chance to do that.

As a side note, don’t take a review down just because you don’t like it. In rare cases, fake and/or inappropriate reviews may need to be flagged or you may need to request for them to be removed. But just because a review is negative, does not mean this is always the case.

The Takeaway On How To Handle Negative Reviews

The takeaway here is that a negative review does not have to be a negative experience. Take it as an opportunity to make the situation better. If you find that you are able to resolve the situation in any of these ways, ask the reviewer to post an update then online once they are satisfied with the resolution.

[Read more here: Monitoring Online Reviews and Handling Properly]

Managing your online reviews, both the positive and the negative ones, is within the broader scope of online reputation management. This includes enhancing all of your online profiles and all of the places where anyone can leave you a review. Need help? Put the team at Connections Healthcare Strategies to work for you. To get started, schedule your strategy session today.

Leave a Reply

Latest Blog Posts