A negative comment or review online can damage your firm’s reputation. It can also result in a possible loss of clients, loss of income, and may affect prospective business. It’s important to take a serious look at each of the online reviews written by clients as these can provide valuable insights and help you build a stronger business. However, not everyone knows exactly how to respond to a negative review. In this blog, we share proven tactics to deal with negative online reviews and manage your online reputation.
1. What to do when you receive a bad online review
Negative online reviews are quite common, even for companies with stellar reputations. Even with a rock solid customer service and support team, you can’t please everybody. The first step after receiving a bad online review is to carefully read through the entire review. As you read through the review, write down the feedback or complaints so that you and your team can address them one by one. While your response to a review should be timely, it should always be professional. Remember that anything you post on your B2B website, social media, or online review sites – be it changes or responses to comments – can be viewed by prospects, clients, vendors, and partners.
2. Understand what is being said about you
Make sure you clearly understand the client’s issue and what the negative reviews are saying about your products or services. This may be difficult, but ask: “Are the reviews true?” What steps do you and your team need to take in order to resolve the issue? It is important to check your emotions and maintain a rational approach to dealing with negative online reviews. Remember, even reviews that are exaggerated still come from a real customer experience.
3. Implement a search engine optimization strategy
A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is an important part of controlling the information about your B2B firm that shows up in search engines like Google. You would not want a negative review to be the first one to greet potential clients and other users when they search for your business online. Through an effective SEO strategy, your firm can increase the amount of blogs and web pages that appear in search results. Doing so ensures that a negative review isn’t the only thing that pops up in an online search for your business.
4. Take client care seriously
In every transaction and customer dealings, coach your team to always make client satisfaction the top priority. Put into effect the saying: “the customer is king.” It may not be true all the time, but acting like it is true enables you to elicit positive advocates for your products and services. In many cases, these advocates will recommend your company to their associates and friends.
5. Ask great clients for positive reviews
After successful projects or an establishment of great working relationships, ask your clients to take the time to write a review about their positive experience with your firm. This can help you build up your online reputation and learn what your firm is doing right when it comes to customer service.
6. Deal with client complaints online and offline
When it comes to your firm’s reputation, it’s best to avoid online debates with unsatisfied clients. Respond to negative reviews first online and ask the reviewer to contact you either via email or phone to find a resolution. Dealing with customer complaints offline is a good way to avoid further negative comments and is the best way to provide the reviewer with a satisfactory resolution. In many situations, it’s easier to have a more candid conversation about their concerns offline rather than online.
7. Deal with negative reviews ASAP!
When you see a negative comment on your website, social media, or a review site, be sure to address is right away. Most unhappy clients will provide specific reasons for their dissatisfaction, which makes it easier to work with them to determine the right solution. Don’t let negative feedback sit in your review section without a response. Ignoring or not responding to negative reviews or comments makes it look like your firm doesn’t care about your clients.
8. Be sure to not make the same mistake again
Learn from both positive and negative feedback. It’s normal to make mistakes, especially when you have a new hire who doesn’t know the answers or a salesperson has a bad day or your customer service team is overwhelmed with calls. However, It’s important to remember that feedback, both positive and negative, is a gift. It helps you and your team to provide better service and build stronger relationships.
Managing your firm’s online reputation can be a full-time job. Remember to always listen and read between the lines of your reviews and endeavor to provide excellent customer service.
Joel Cordle is a medical marketer and CEO of Review Leap, who is serious about his online presence. He is active in the social media market to keep himself updated about effective strategies for enhanced online presence. As he enjoys reading and writing about marketing and online reputation and topics related to reviews, ratings, review monitoring, negative feedback and inspiring customer loyalty.