How to React to Negative Reviews
Posted by Tollfreenumber.ORG at November 25th, 2014
In the olden days businesses built a clientele on good service and word-of-mouth promotion. Eventually, official reviews began to appear in print but usually only for the more prestigious of companies. But with today’s technology, websites like Yelp allow anyone to review any business at any time. However, this isn’t always a good thing. Yelp has turned into a political tool. Hotel owners have been caught charging customers extra fees for bad reviews on sites like TripAdvisor. And an Uber exec was recently exposed for advocating the harassment of reporters that portray the company in a negative light. With this kind of attention, do online reviews really benefit anyone?
The simple answer is yes. Studies have shown that potential customers can be heavily influenced by ratings found online. A negative review can easily dissuade shoppers from frequenting any establishment; though it occurs most frequently in the service industry (ie. hotels or restaurants). The careful shopper can usually sift through bogus reviews fairly easily but most shoppers don’t bother to take the time to do so and instead only focus on the aggregate rating the business has received. Your business will receive bad reviews, it’s unavoidable, but it’s not the end of the world. As a business-owner you have options available to you.
The best way to combat a negative review is by addressing the issue head-on. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the website you’re using. Most review websites allow business-owners to respond to a negative review and explain their side of the story. This can take a bit of restraint and finesse. Many stories have come to light in the past couple of years that give examples of how NOT to address negative reviews. In the worst of these instances, business-owners have been seen insulting customers and accusing the reviewer of lying. Now it may be possible that some bad reviews are, in fact, lies but it doesn’t reflect well on the business when the owner acts like this. Instead, address the review in a calm, professional manner, apologizing even if you think you or your employees have done nothing wrong. In addition, offer to rectify the situation. If the reviewer remains obstinate in their criticism, you’ve proven that you’ve done all that you can to make things better and, as a result, look to be the more reasonable party. Odds are that if you handle the situation calmly and professionally the manner will be resolved and not only will you retain the reviewer’s business but you may attract the respect and business of other potential customers reading the review.
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