Handling a bad review online

There it is. An unsatisfied or frustrated customer decided to vent publicly, in a not so flattering review online. Are you fully aware of the impact this could have on your business? More than half the customers who read online reviews pay more attention to negative reviews when making their decision. You simply can’t just ignore them. Not responding to a bad review is responding. It’s telling everyone that sees the bad review that you don’t care about customer feedback or experience. Handling a bad review properly is quite important. After all reviews do matter.

These things do happen however. Following the steps below can get your started in turning this around and helping your online reputation.

Don’t respond immediately, take a moment

Don’t respond in the heat of the moment. Take a breath and compose your thoughts. Remember your business’s online reputation is on the line. Take a moment to cool down (if handling a bad review gets you worked up), collect information about the complaint and get your thoughts together.

Take some time to recall the situation and get input from others involved. Make sure that you’ve compiled all of the details before reaching out. Sometimes handling a bad review actually exposes weaknesses which you never realized existed on your team. This can be a good thing in the long run for your business if you approach the situation properly.

Aim to resolve the issue quickly

Responding to, and resolving the issue quickly (in one transaction) is important. This is known as the “first contact resolution”. Customers who receive a successful first-contact problem resolution are twice as likely to buy from you again. Perhaps even more importantly it sends a message that you take customer satisfaction seriously. You don’t want this to be a lengthy, drawn out battle, which is why gathering all the pertinent information in the 1st step is so crucial.

Best Practices When Responding

While each online review is different, there are some best practices that you should remember when tackling online reputation management. Remember the goal here is not to win an argument with a frustrated customer. Your goal here is to come to a solution that satisfies the complaint, remedies your online reputation and doesn’t lash out at the reviewer. In your response remember to:

  • Keep things professional, this means being polite, but also honoring your core values as a company. Don’t lash out, even if you’re “right”. Thank the customer for reaching out to share feedback. Use the same logic you would apply to a face-to-face interaction.
  • A problem is more likely to escalate online, become more permanent, and tarnish your brand. Work to find a resolution offline if the option is available to you. When a resolution has been reached, remember to mention to the customer that you’d appreciate it if they would update their review to reflect things accordingly. Don’t ask them to take down their online review; that is too pushy and reviews that display your conflict resolution skills and concern are great marketing tools! Having customers update their online review lets other readers see, (in their words), your dedication to a positive user experience.
  • Address legitimate concerns only. Issues that are within your control and are negative reflections on your business are worth addressing. Don’t get bogged down in the minutia, keep “the main thing, the main thing”.
  • Don’t forget to give them a name to put behind the reply, as well as a phone number or email address so they can get in touch if necessary. It lets other readers know that you do care about delivering customer satisfaction, even when things aren’t so positive.

Fixing the Issue

It is important that you don’t just respond to the bad review, but you fix the problem too. In some cases, depending on the situation, it may mean asking the customer to contact you by phone or to stop by your place of business so you can discuss the issue/problem in person. Consumer trust in online reviews is high, going the extra mile is very important. Not only does fixing the issue make that customer happier, but other potential customers will see how important satisfying your customers is to your business.

Getting More Positive Reviews

If you get a bad review about your business, you want to try and get a few more positive reviews to help “push down” that negative review. Reviews are often times chronological. Generating positive reviews you help you “bury” the negative. 5starRocket is literally built to help you gain more high ranking reviews, while educating you on how users feel about your business. You are in luck!

Final Thoughts

One negative review holds more “weight” on customer purchasing decisions than one positive review. A bad review is also more likely to escalate online and become permanent. Creating a 5starRocket account provides a unique opportunity to get ahead of negative reviews before they become public, giving you the opportunity to resolve any issues before being posted online. At the same time, our proactive review approach allows you to also get way more positive online reviews at the same time. Online reputation management doesn’t have to be rocket science.