The resounding reaction to receiving negative reviews from clients is typically upset, anger, disgust, or confusion for most business owners. Maybe a bit of all those feelings really. However, even when something negative is stated, you still have the power to control the narrative around your online reputation.
It’s Not the End of the World…
In today’s digital age, online reputation management is more important than ever. With the click of a button, anyone can leave a review or post comments about your business. And once something is online, it can be very difficult to remove. As a business owner, it’s essential to be proactive about managing your online reputation.
Responding to negative reviews in a professional and gracious manner can make all the difference to your clients and potential customers. Taking steps to encourage positive reviews can also help boost your business. Don’t let a few negative comments online ruin your hard-earned reputation. With some effort and online reputation management, you can ensure that your business continues to thrive.
You Found a Bad Review, Now What?
Bad reviews are bound to happen. No one can please everyone’s every want, need, or request. So while you can’t control that, you can control how you handle bad reviews when they come to you. Negative reviews shouldn’t be seen as the worst thing to happen to your business. We don’t want to see or deal with negativity because it might expose a weak point of our business or product. However, instead of thinking it’s horrible someone disagrees with your business or you, take a second to learn about possible improvements you can make to bring your reviews more positive than negative.
Responding to negative reviews gives you the opportunity to regain trust and win back unhappy customers by making it a focus to resolve problems. In fact, 82% of clients will actively seek out negative reviews, simply to read the interactions between reviewers and businesses. When the sentiment shifts from dissatisfaction to helpful, resourceful, or understanding, viewers no longer view the business as negative most of the time.
In order to take control of your business’s response output to negative feedback online, it’s important to remember several key points when responding to clients who are upset, unhappy, or dissatisfied:
- Avoid being defensive and argumentative. This can only create further distrust and anger from an already upset customer.
- What you say can and will be used against you as if you were being tried by a judge and jury!
- Acknowledge your mistakes and defects upfront. Honesty wins overall.
- Demonstrate your willingness to at least hear the client out. Everyone has the right to be heard from their point of view.
- Provide a solution that you will work on in the future to improve the overall experience of your clients.
If someone is taking the time to write out a review, regardless of the nature, it’s important to feed them a response that feels like they’ve been heard in order to build trust and hopefully foster resolution. Creating and maintaining a trusting relationship with the majority of your clients should be a priority especially those that feel badly about their experience.
Understanding the Process to Rebuild Trust
Building trust is harder to achieve after you’ve broken it. However, even though it’s tough to do, it’s a MUST do. Our team of experts in reputation and review management online have formulated a strategy for businesses to clean up their online reviews, showcase their authenticity, and rebuild trust to maintain a positive online reputation. Here are the four pillars of reputation success Reputation Rhino uses:
- Monitor – In order to understand what clients and prospects are saying about your brand and business, you need to have a strategy in place to monitor and observe interactions between your business and the online community. Setting up alerts on prominent review sites, Google, social media, and on your website can allow you to stay on top of what clients are saying about your business.
- Response – No customer review should ever go unnoticed; bad and good. Showing your customers and potential customers that you care about their business by responding to every review that’s made across all monitored review platforms goes a lot further than most think. In turn this also helps convert negative customer reviews into positive reviews.
- Outreach – The use of proprietary systems and strategies to contact your best clients of past and present to request more high-rated reviews on your behalf, allows your business to quickly catapult towards a stellar online review profile. This helps increase and maximize positive impact and visibility.
- Reporting – Having detailed metrics and reports to see who is reviewing your business, when they are reviews, what they are saying, and where they are posting can help you continue to identify and respond to trends occurring between clients and allocate your resources accordingly to boost positive sentiment.
Who to reach out to for Online Review Management
No one likes getting bad reviews, but they are inevitable. As a business owner or service provider, it is important to know how to deal with them effectively. The first step is understanding the different types of bad reviews and why people leave them. Then you can take steps to prevent bad reviews from happening in the first place.
If you do receive a negative review, stay calm and follow our advice on how to respond both publicly and privately. Remember, you aren’t going to win over everyone, but you can try your best to come to an amicable decision on how things can be improved for the future.
Online reviews and their tone can shape your entire business reputation both on and off the web. You’ve got the basics to successfully manage online reviews and build trust with your customers by keeping in mind the tips and information we shared with you above. But while it is easy for some businesses to maintain their online reputation and reviews, it can be overwhelming or even a full-time job for others that they just aren’t ready to take on.
If that is the case, it’s time to find someone to help you automate your review response process or hire a team dedicated and experienced in managing online reviews and your reputation.
Reputation Rhino is the world’s leading online reputation management company. We have the reputation management tools, the experience, and the know-how to make online reviews work for you.
Reach out to our team to see what we can do to help your business navigate and maintain a protected, positive reputation online.