A lot of online purchases hinge on real user reviews. That means the online reputation of your company can convince potential customers to work and shop with you or have them running to your competitors.
One of the most important aspects of managing your online reputation is getting, monitoring, and responding to online reviews. A negative review isn’t going to go away just because you ignore it. And unfortunately, those neglected negative business reviews are going to attract a lot more attention from potential customers. We want to those bad reviews to be outliers in a string of good reviews.
Steps to respond to positive and negative reviews.
- Thank the reviewer for the kind words! It’s only polite 🙂
- Tell them what they already know. This is for all those SEO optimizers out there. Use your company’s name, industry, and/or location in your response. This can help this positive review appear in search results.
- Show off a bit. Mention an upcoming event, or a menu item you would recommend. Inspire future action or at least keep the friendly conversation going!
- Be sympathetic and acknowledge the reviewer’s concern. If you need to take responsibility, do it. Apologize for the bad experience, the malfunctioning product, the late delivery.
- Give yourself a little pep talk. Your company isn’t known for messing up, so let them know what your reputation truly is. “We pride ourselves on our excellent sportsmanship and regret that we missed the mark.”
- Move the conversation offline. Provide a way for the unsatisfied reviewer to get in touch with someone personally via phone or email to learn more about the situation.
- Just to mix things up – here’s a DON’T. Don’t use your business name in the review, for the same reason we recommend doing so in response to a positive review.
The above steps for handling online reviews are all about customer service and maintaining (or salvaging) relationships with your constituency. These steps are reactive. Your customers control these online dialogues and will have the upper hand. After addressing a negative review and resolving the issue (ideally offline), you can always ask the reviewer to update his or her negative review. Chances are, the review won’t be updated.
That’s why we recommend proactive positive review gathering that can bolster your online presence and reputation while burying those negative reviews. You can ask for positive reviews from happy customers, both in person and in emails.