6 Techniques to Respond to Negative Reviews Online to Boost Your Reputation

Updated: Apr 8

In the time being, customers often do research and rely on online reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, or Tripadvisor to discover the previous customer experience before making a purchase decision. This makes it crucially important for any brand to learn how to respond to negative reviews online, especially in situations where these reviews might damage their brand reputation.

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A study of Smart Sight shows that businesses who respond to bad reviews, 33% turn around and post a good review, and 35% delete the negative review. Whether the reviews are bad, it’s recommended to respond to ask for more information and figure out what went wrong with your customers. But how?

Below we’ll run through steps covering how to respond to a negative review. We’ll walk you through everything you need to prepare and be ready state to remedy such situations to protect your reputation.

Be Ready to Face and Respond to Negative Reviews

Despite your feeling of frustration, you have to make a great effort to deal with negative reviews. I know how hard to not get irritated when you face negative reviews or low ratings. But looking at the upside, bad reviews actually have the power to improve conversion rates and how your business empathy. Take a look at the following statistics to know the consequence of not responding to negative reviews:

  • Responding to negative reviews can result in a 16% boost in customer advocacy.

  • Businesses experience a 37% decrease in customer advocacy simply by the act of not responding to negative reviews.

(According to a study from Smart Insight)

Reviewers often leave their reviews to just want to be heard. So please be empathic in your approach. Sometimes, all take to make a customer satisfied is to show them that you have heard them and want to solve their problem.

Responding to negative reviews professionally and solving customer problems in a timely manner might diminish customers’ savage before they go online and express their dissatisfaction on social media, forum, review websites or share them through word of mouth. You can overlook them, but sometimes they can go beyond your control and cause damaging your online reputation.

Remember that negative reviews will stay negative forever on the Internet if you do not respond. Thus, how you respond to negative reviews can provide customers with insight into your business’ credibility.


Keep Calm and Take a Breath

It’s hard to not angrily protest personal insults and low-start ratings as being directed at us. But please calm down if you don’t want to make the situation worse with your responses full of sarcasm and rage. A good way to deal with a negative review might be to thank them for taking the time and ask what could be done better in order to make things right with them.

Before responding to a negative review, take a moment to breathe deeply and settle your emotion. If necessary, walk around and take a cup of tea, as being angry with a customer is never a good outcome.


Have a list of standard responses

Jumping into defending yourself against unjustified complaints will just do more harm than good. You might find it helpful to have a list of standard responses to refer to when it comes to responding to negative reviews. The responses are written in an informative manner, that resolves accurate customer problems. The preparation also ensures that your message and tone express your goodwill. This is important to avoid your message to ve interpreted as over defensive and aggressive.


Resolve the Issue

Prevention and effective responses are always good practices. But the best way is to actively resolve your customer problems. Customers leave reviews because they show bad experiences with your products or services that may not meet their expectations. If possible, try contacting them privately and politely address their message.

The effort to tackle the problem shows the credibility of your business and boosts customer satisfaction. When customer trust is broken, it is critical to go the extra mile and show your sincerity. Addressing the problem not only makes the customer happier but other potential customers can see how good your brand is and how important your customers are to your business.


Ask for a Do-Over

As long as you’ve taken steps to address the customer’s bad experience, don’t hesitate to politely request that they can update or change their review to reflect the resolution. One of the best ways is to send them an email outlining what happened, what you resolved, and then politely asking if they would mind updating their review.

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