How to Handle Bad Reviews Online

October 31, 2017
Harlie Abejuela

how to handle bad reviews online

Received a bad review online? Here are the quick steps to begin improving your reputation and handle bad reviews online:

  1. Determine If a Response Is Needed
  2. Be Professional and Polite
  3. Reply Privately When Needed

Continue reading to get more detailed help on responding to good and bad reviews.

The online world today is a tricky area for businesses to navigate. Our connected world allows any satisfied or dissatisfied consumer to broadcast his or her experience with your business with friends, family, and strangers across the Internet.

Research has proven the impact of online reviews, with 88 percent of surveyed customers stating that they are influenced by an online customer service review and a staggering 80% of consumers change their minds before purchasing a product due to a bad review, costing businesses a sale, and perhaps their reputation.

What, then, can you do when you encounter such feedback? Below are some ways to handle reviews, both the good and the bad, online:

Determine If a Response Is Needed

One important thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to positive reviews, always respond and thank customers for their feedback. Reinforce the positive and share the good news with your team. Some negative reviews, on the other hand, are not worth thinking about. If reviews are predominantly just minor complaints or if they are posted by someone who’s a frequent complainer, you’ll be better off just ignoring them.

It’s important to determine if the reviewer is just letting off steam or if there really is a valid complaint that needs addressing. If you feel that a response is in order, keep it short and sweet, thank them for their feedback and leave it at that.

Be Professional and Polite

There will always be a person that would go out of their way to express their strong, negative opinion about your business. The best way to respond to a negative review is to address it quickly and reasonably in a polite and professional tone. It’s important to remember that however and whatever you respond is out there for all the world to see.

A negative review can taint your business, but a rude, aggressive or flippant response from you will probably damage your reputation even more. Never result to insults or negative comments and always respond in a polite and professional manner because if you recover from the mistake well, you can actually build a stronger relationship with your customers than you had before.

Reply Privately When Needed

Sometimes, it’s a good decision to move the conversation out of the public eye. If you feel that reaching out to a customer directly will be the best approach, do it. It all depends on how comfortable you are with this and how well you can take a tongue lashing without getting defensive or start insulting the reviewer.

By responding reasonably, you create the impression that mistakes rarely occur in your business. Even with the worst of the worst, thank the reviewer for leaving a feedback.

There is simply no way around it: negative reviews always happen. The good news is, online reviews are not set in stone and can always be updated by the reviewer. Before responding, make sure that you get all the facts straight. Know the situation inside and out, and be prepared to offer up ideas to remedy an issue.

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