Working with multiple companies and radio stations and managing their social media has taught me that some people are not very nice online. I have had calls from business owners and questions from the radio personalities asking me how to get rid of negative reviews, specifically on Facebook.
Well, I’ve got news for you. It’s nearly impossible. Not only that, but you don’t necessarily want to get rid of negative reviews. It diminishes your credibility as well as your transparency. The reality is, you can do everything right and still receive a negative review. Bad reviews happen!
What if I told you that you could actually make a positive out of a negative? No, this isn’t a math lesson, but you really can put your business in a positive light after receiving a negative review online. Rather than trying to find ways to delete the review, consider these 9 tips on how to deal with negative reviews of your business.
1. Remember that bad reviews don’t mean that you’re bad. Before doing anything, remember that as your business grows, you’re going to see more reviews and they might not always be good. Don’t take them personally. Your business isn’t right for everyone, and that’s a great thing! Treat a negative review as an open window to make something within your business better.
2. Join the conversation. The best thing you can do is to respond to the unhappy customer. If you ignore it, people will take notice. Responding in a timely manner shows the customer that you care. This may also allow the person who gave you a bad review to give you a second chance and respond to your response.
3. Highlight the positive. Believe me when I say that negative reviews can benefit your business. In your response, include a link to your blog or website that may resolve the customer’s issue. Or you can draw attention to the more positive reviews. You can even show how you will use this review to make some changes.
4. Empathize and apologize. Show the customer that you understand how they feel. Use language like “understandable,” “I can see where you’re coming from,” or “I’d be frustrated too.’ Make the customer feel like they are right and you know that. Then, apologize. Even if you don’t think you were in the wrong, be genuine in your apology and show that you don’t like when customers are upset.
5. Resolve the issue. Ask what you can do to make this right. What will make the customer happy? Of course, you have to put a limit on these requests, but try to resolve the issue quickly. The longer you let the customer heat up, the bigger the explosion.
6. Diagnose the problem. Find out why this issue happened in the first place. Without blaming anyone, get to the bottom of why this negative review happened. Also, remember that taking responsibility is not a shameful act.
7. Encourage positive reviews. Once you realize that reviews, whether positive or negative, are there to stay, the best thing to do is to encourage satisfied customers to leave a reviews.
8. Prevent it by following up. You can try to prevent negative reviews by following up with customers after they have done business with you. If you are a restaurant or retailer, this step can be difficult. However, if you have your customers’ contact information, you can call them after the business transaction is complete and ask them how their experience was. What can you do better? This action simply shows that you care about your customers and are willing to change if needed.
9. KNOW WHEN TO TAKE THE ISSUE OFFLINE! This is extremely important. If the discussion starts to get heated and you think that there may be inappropriate comments made, take it offline. Ask the customer if you can take this issue to email or phone. Keep your business’ name and reputation in tact at all times.