The internet is great. It helps you promote your business and reach people near and far. It lets your customers share your business with their friends and family members. Your customers can even (very easily) leave rave reviews on your website, Google, and Facebook. But, there’s a downside to how easy it is to review your business – your customers can also leave negative reviews.
Don’t Worry About Negative Reviews. Here’s How to Deal with Them.
If you log into Facebook and notice that you have a negative review (or two), don’t panic. Believe it or not, negative reviews can actually help you build your business:
They’ll add some legitimacy to your business. Not everyone is going to like you, so if someone comes to your page and only sees fantastic reviews, they’ll think something is a little fishy.
They’ll also help you figure out what areas to improve because your reviewers will tell you.
For negative reviews to help your business, however, you have to deal with them appropriately. Here’s six tips for doing just that:
Be a Good Listener
Listening to your customers (whether they’re raving or ranting) can go a long, long way. By reading each review and paying attention to what your customers are saying, you’ll be able to build relationships. Those relationships will increase the chance that a customer will keep shopping with you, even if their first experience with your company wasn’t exactly great.
If you let reviews sit there for days without answering them, you’re telling your customers that you’re not listening to them and that you don’t care what they have to say.
So, respond as quickly as possible. If someone leaves you a bad review, comment on the review – tell them you’re sorry that they had a bad experience and ask them to contact you, so you can fix the situation.
By responding publicly, you’re showing potential customers that you care about everyone who does business with you. But, by speaking with the disgruntled customer privately, you’re not airing anyone’s dirty laundry or starting any drama. It’s a lot easier to fix a problem and build a relationship offline.
Look for Patterns
If you’ve gotten a few negative reviews, look for patterns and similarities. If everyone is complaining about the same thing, then it’s probably something you need to fix.
Because you’ve been looking for patterns in your bad reviews, you’ll learn what people like and dislike about your products, services, customer experience, and more. You can take what you learn to improve your business. You’ll be creating a better experience for everyone, which will help your business grow.
If someone had a really bad experience, and you want to smooth their ruffled feathers, feel free to send them something. It could be free samples of your products or a coupon. (You don’t have to do this for every negative review, or people would start complaining just to get free stuff.)
Know When to Ignore It
Not every bad review is worth dealing with. You might decide to ignore a review because
the customer used abusive language, or
they’ve never actually shopped with you; they just want free stuff.
If you run into a review like this, try to get the review removed. A lot of platforms have a way for you to flag the review or report it because it breaks the platform’s rules.
Be careful, though, that you’re not removing legitimate reviews because that is a little fishy.