Someone posted a negative review of your business online for everyone to see. Your first instinct is probably to panic, but we encourage you to take a deep breath. There are ways you can respond that are both tactful and productive for everyone involved.
Own up to the situation – The worst thing a business can do is go on the defensive and attack the reviewer publicly. This can very quickly become a PR disaster and turn a bad situation into a worse one. If you need to cool down, take a few hours to think over your response. However, you don’t want to wait too long. Responding in a timely manner shows that you’re willing to own up to the situation, not hide from it.
In this day and age, no one expects a business to be perfect all the time. What’s most important is that you respond to comments you receive in a mature and grateful manner and do whatever you can do to fix the situation in a way that’s satisfactory to the person who had the negative experience.
Remember that negative feedback is still feedback – Sometimes, we forget that negative feedback can actually be more helpful than positive feedback because it shows where there might be room to grow. Show genuine appreciation for the review and explain how you’re going to use the information to move forward as a company. Then, be sure to follow through! Even if the customer doesn’t see the work you do behind the scenes to improve, it’s still worth it to do the work.
Seek out reviews from your satisfied customers – Unfortunately, negative reviews cannot be erased. Once they’re posted on the internet, they’re pretty much there forever. However, you can raise your review average by getting some of your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews for you. Everyone is so busy, sometimes they need a reminder to leave a review. Let them know how much the reviews mean to you as a small business owner.
Incentivizing reviews is a gray area, so we don’t recommend doing any contests or drawings in exchange for reviews, but you can make it easy for them by sending an email and linking directly to your company’s review form on Facebook or Google.
The team at Social5 is more than happy to help you build your online reputation using proven technology that will allow you to increase consumer traffic and elevate your online ranking with search engines. We offer reputation management as an add-on service or, better yet, as part of our comprehensive Get Found package. The Get Found package includes call tracking and recording, Google verification, listings in over 150 online directories, analytics, and of course, reputation management. Contact our support team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!