Negative online reviews or comments are a major concern for business owners. Today, a company’s reputation is largely based on online reviews, and an unfavorable review can be disastrous. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to avoid negative feedback. No matter how successful your business is, it’s highly likely that you’ll receive a potentially damaging review at one point or another. That’s why it’s important to know how you’ll respond before it happens. You can’t please everyone, but you can handle negative online reviews and comments in a positive, professional manner. Here’s how.

Don’t Ignore Negative Online Reviews

One thing you should never do is ignore negative online reviews. According to Qualtrics, 93% of customers read online reviews prior to making a purchase. For younger generations well versed in Internet communications, online reviews are even more vital. In fact, 91% of 18-34 year old’s say they trust online reviews just as much as word-of-mouth recommendations. If you don’t address online reviews, they’ll only lead people away from your business. Responding gives you the chance to show that you care about your customers and want to improve. Although it won’t erase the review, your response can indicate that the poor experience of one customer is not representative of your company as a whole.

Take Steps to Remedy the Situation

Ideally, you won’t have too many negative online reviews to deal with. Let’s say, however, that an employee made the same error with three different customers. You now have three recent reviews that don’t show your business in the best light. What can you do? In this situation, you should respond to all of them individually (and without using the same exact response for all three). Never argue with your customers or try to disparage their experience. Instead, apologize, explain what went wrong, and let them know what actions you’ll take to prevent the issue in the future. You could also offer them a refund, a credit or a discount toward future services. By responding to the situation in a proactive manner, you show potential customers that no matter what problems arise, you can resolve them.

Follow Up with the Customer

Responding to feedback shouldn’t just be for show. If a customer gives you their contact information after posting a negative online review, be sure to follow up with them. Let them fully explain their experience so you can resolve the problem properly. Ultimately, customers who have negative experiences want to be heard and understood. Following up with them is a sign of respect, and it shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile to fix a problem. Additionally, you may want to consider following up with customers who post positive reviews. Doing this here and there will bolster your reputation and help you retain the customers you’ve already gained.

Bounce Back from Negative Online Reviews with Because You’re Busy Co

At Because You’re Busy Co, we offer a range of services and can help you create meaningful relationships with customers new and old. Negative online reviews can be a challenge, but we’ll help you tackle them so you can maintain your five-star reputation. We offer reliable, convenient, and affordable administrative services for all of our clients. To learn more about our services and how to handle negative online reviews or comments, visit us online or call us today at (410) 324-3934.