Most people research a business before they choose it, so your online business reviews are essential to your success. While positive reviews are great, negative ones can lead to a loss in customers, sales, and profit, all while hurting your reputation and brand image too. Luckily, knowing the right way to handle negative online reviews can ensure that your reviews help your business thrive. We’ve got what you need to know about the power of online reviews and the best way to respond to negative ones, right here.

The Power of Online Reviews

Research shows that 93% of consumers read reviews before deciding on the quality of a business and 40% will avoid a business because of negative reviews. That’s a big deal, a large number of people decide whether a business is worth their time and money before ever having a personal experience.

Plus, reviews impact your social media standing and web traffic, which are vital to conversion rates and profit. Positive reviews can boost your business, but with even just one negative review, sales can drop by 13%. With an impact that drastic, it’s best to be prepared to face negative reviews with grace and professionalism, so that you can make sure your positive reviews outshine any bad ones. Here’s how:

Think Before You React

You’re human, and reading a negative review about your business can really hurt. But when it comes to online business reviews, you have to think before you react. If you respond to a review out of anger or hurt without thinking first, you’ll only make the situation worse. Once that response is out there, customers won’t forget.

Take a moment to process the review and accept it. If that means you have to get away from your computer or phone to keep from responding before you’re ready, do it. While it’s tough to have your business put down publicly, remember, the customer is always right.

Respond Publicly and Promptly

Once you’ve taken the time to think and calm down, it’s time to respond. This can’t be avoided. Not responding to a negative review, or responding weeks later, sends the message that you don’t care about your customers. Since the number one reason customers turn away from a business is that they feel unappreciated, you never want to ignore a complaint. Responding publicly and promptly lets customers know that you care and they matter to your business.

Plus, if you don’t respond promptly, customers might think the review is true, giving it more authority.

Apologize, Offer Solutions, and Fix the Problem

It takes more than responding publicly and promptly to deal with a negative review. Your response should also be sincere and effective. First thing first, apologize, even if you think the review might be uncalled for. Avoid generic responses and try to let some personality show. Remember, the world is watching.

Once you’ve apologized, show that you stand by your word by offering solutions and fixing the problem. This might mean inviting a customer to contact you privately via email, phone, or in person. This can even result in the negative review being replaced with a positive one. In fact, this study shows that 7 out of 10 customers change their mind about a review after the business responds. This greatly enhances your reputation and shows customers that they can count on your business.

Crushing Negative Reviews

No matter how great your business is, at some point your bound to receive a negative review. Even the most successful businesses face negative reviews, the key to success is how they deal with them. Whether a customer catches your business on an off day or during a hectic rush, don’t worry, you now know exactly how to handle it!

To make sure your whole team is on the same page about the best way to deal with negative reviews, check out our team communication app, built to make your team stronger than ever.

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