Turn Your Negative Reviews into a Win
Let’s be honest, even when you’re doing your best to deliver top quality services to your customers, there is still a chance of making a mistake at some point. For example, you’re a business owner that’s working around the clock to be the leader in the local market. Chances are, even with your best efforts to please your customers, there possibility of failure exists. The end result is that you could potentially end up having an unhappy customer. What’s worse is that these unhappy customers can leave you negative reviews on review sites or social media channels despite your best efforts.
Having a proactive approach, you can turn these negative reviews into a positive story for your business. In fact, these are the stories which your customers will always remember.
Why Do Customers Post Negative Reviews
I get it, you feel frustrated when you get a negative review, but use it to your advantage. Believe it or not, having a good mixture of positive and negative reviews can prove that your reviews are genuine. Trust me, I get it, no business owner ever wants that negative review, but look at it as an opportunity to show just how much you care about customer service.
It has been proven that consumers will trust reviews more when they see a mix of positive and negative online reviews left by your customers. I know, seems backwards right? You would think that having nothing but 5 star reviews would make you look like an absolute rock star, but consumers may perceive this as suspicious.
Do you know how many fake online reviews were bought and paid for in 2020? According to the Harvard Business Review, an estimated 4.5 million sellers sourced fake reviews from Facebook groups.
Changing Perception of Prospective Customers and The Reviewer
Business integrity, the view that is seen online, can be very easy to lose if you do not address quickly. Also, just be understanding and offer an apology when it appears necessary. My suggestion, have a few responses prepared that would cover negative experiences so that you can immediately respond by just updating a few items rather than having to come up with a new response if it happens again. That will help in most situations, but will not obviously not cover some, it’s a quick response that may potentially be a factor in determining the outcome. Again, this response, lack of response, and time that it took you to respond are all factors that can be seen. Make sure that you are putting as many positive +1’s up for your business as you can, they will add up quickly if you pay attention.
When responding to the negative review, stay calm, cool, and don’t panic. Respond to the reviewer in a tactfully and keep them engaged until the issue has been resolved. Once the issue is resolved and if handled correctly it is absolutely ok to ask the reviewer to edit the review or delete it altogether. Check out our steps to help your turn a negative review into a positive win for your business.
3 Steps to Manage Negative Online Reviews
About 92% of potential customers, and existing ones, are watching to see how you respond and handle the situation, it shows that you care about customer experience and service. Roughly 40% of those potential customers are going to use your online reviews to form an impression of your business’ reputation.
STEP 1: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND TIMELY ENGAGEMENT
The first thing you should need to do after receiving a negative review is acknowledge them through your official business account. Respond to the negative review with a professional and polite message expressing your sincerest apologies regarding the situation. Go ahead and ask the reviewer to share their contact details. After that, you need to personally follow-up in order to understand what went wrong. Once the customer details are shared, make it a priority to call them up as soon as possible.
STEP 2: REQUEST A SECOND CHANCE AND AMAZE THEM
When you are reaching out to your unhappy customers, make it truly meaningful by taking an immediate corrective action. To make this initiative more sincere, extend them an open invitation to come and retry your service free of cost. When your customers accept your request, make sure that you’re ready to exceed their expectations this time around. Have your best staff member or an executive to attend to them to ensure everything is done as expected.
STEP 3: TAKE FEEDBACK AND SHARE WITH THE WORLD
When you complete the follow up service with the customer, don’t hesitate to ask your customer to share their feedback regarding their follow up experience. Take this as an opportunity to communicate that as a hard-working small business owner, you sincerely value your customers. Let them know that you’re prepared to make the necessary changes if customers are not satisfied.
Lastly, ask your customers to share a Facebook post or tweet regarding their follow up experience with your business. Once your customer posts about how pleased they were with their recent experience, then share their update with your online audience. For instance, you can create a specific blog post that features your customer.
Make sure that you narrate the story around how you managed to change their experience through your dedicated customer experience efforts. Also, don’t hesitate to share a screenshot of the Facebook post or tweet shared by your customers on your blog post. Then go ahead and share across all social media platforms, where the visibility of your business matters.
Keep The Positive Reviews Coming
Dedication to Customer Service
Also, when potential clients read about this story, it will put your business in a good light. Negative reviews no longer have to be a red flag for potential customers. They are real and can be harmful if not addressed properly, but the good news is that if they are handled with the right approach, you can turn it into a win for your business. So don’t let the next negative review leave a blemish on the reputation of your business, turn it into a five star win for customer service.
How To Avoid Negative Online Reviews
I want you to think about a negative online review from the perspective that I am about to explain. Hopefully what I am saying will make sense to you even more and you seriously think about this.
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer, if YOUR PERCEPTION (PAY ATTENTION…THIS IT IS REALLY ALL THAT MATTERS) of the experience that you had with a business was impactful enough for you to take the time out of your day to leave a negative review rather than just blowing it off and never shopping with a business again, obviously you want everyone to be aware.
How many times have you been a customer and had a less than positive experience? Then rather than never spending your money with that business again took the time to actually leave a review, seriously – think about that. When and if you did leave a negative review, how passionate were you about making sure the business owner and other potential customers that saw your review would actually use your experience in deciding whether or not they should choose this business?
Think about how many times that you would have just walked away feeling like you were giving that business more of your time that they didn’t deserve. Now think about the one time that you felt passionate enough to make sure your feedback was absolutely necessary. Hopefully I’ve given you something more to think about regarding negative reviews. If you want more insight on them, how to respond to them, reach out and I’ll share my approach. Yes, I actually gave it a name.
I’m just being realistic here, I believe in online reviews 100% and I rely on them every single day. When I am looking for something I need on Google, I’m not shopping for groceries or toothpaste, I am looking for something very specific. I look at the reviews of every business I choose to view the product I am looking for on. I will even go as far to Google the name of that business and the word reviews, because I know Google is not the only place that reviews can be left. Yes, Google is going to be the decision maker in a Google search, but there are literally over 150 review sites that customers can leave business reviews on.
Seem like a bit much to you, maybe, but if you’re a business owner a light in your head just went off. If it didn’t let me flip the switch for you, how can I get all of my business reviews into one location if they are on multiple review websites? How does that help me on search results? Hope that helps drive my point home, if you want to see it in action I’ll show you what your business looks like and how inexpensive it is compared to the results you get from it.
If you think positive reviews are hard to get then we should talk. Yes, if you are not actively using an online reputation management strategy, you are much less likely to get the reviews you deserve. Don’t let a negative experience have a higher likelihood of your business receiving a review than a positive one.
Take charge of your business’ reputation and show people that your business is active, reliable, and trustworthy.
Online Reviews Are The Deciding Factor For Potential Customers
People that trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
People that say a review must be written within last 2 weeks in order to be relevant
People that would choose a business with a 3 star or below review rating