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How To Respond To Negative Reviews

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    Today, a big question that we hear a lot is, how to respond to negative reviews? Online reviews are the lifeblood of every modern brand. According to Statista, 36 percent of all Internet users aged 25 to 34 use online reviews to research brands and products, and 52 percent of these Internet users post their reviews online. Many people believe that online reviews are as reliable as personal recommendations from their friends and family, and allow them to greatly influence their purchasing decisions. 

    Negative online reviews present a unique problem for business owners. The first instinct for businesses who receive a negative review is to lash out or dispute the customer’s review in a combative fashion. This is exactly the opposite of how your business should handle a negative online review. 

    This article will explain how companies should handle negative or unflattering reviews, boosting their brand’s reputation and helping to attract new customers.

    The Importance of Reviews For Your Brand

    Your company may have spent years cultivating its brand image, both online and offline. Overall, businesses want their online presence to reflect the positive aspects of their brand, like trustworthiness and integrity. Negative reviews can interfere with this important means of branding, casting doubt in customers’ minds before choosing to do business with you.

    One of the top qualities that customers want to see in their favorite companies is responsiveness. Companies need to be able to accommodate their customers’ requests in a friendly manner.

    How Negative Reviews Affect Your Brand

    No matter what type of business you are running; from a dentist’s office to a restaurant, your customers pay attention to your online reviews. Even a single negative review may cause prospective new customers to steer clear of your business. Businesses are frustrated by this phenomenon, but they need to understand why reviews are so important.

    A review encapsulates a customer’s personal experience with the brand. They are often posted in the ‘heat of the moment’, and they may not always be diplomatically worded.

    Reasons Why Negative Reviews Are Posted

    There are many reasons why a customer may choose to write a negative review of your business. First, they may be sincerely aggravated by your customer service or the quality of your products. For example, if a pizza customer receives their food an hour late and cold, they may feel motivated to post an angry review.

    Bad reviews can also be posted maliciously by competitors or online trolls. It is not easy to track these types of reviews, as they are often anonymously posted.

    Businesses are sometimes bothered by negative online reviews because the customer goes directly from their poor experience to writing the review. If the customer had contacted the business for help before writing the review, it is more likely that the company would have been able to mollify them with a free product or a sincere apology. It is frustrating when customers will not allow your business to make things right.

    How to Handle Negative Reviews

    Fortunately, there are steps your business can take to respond to online reviews and minimize their impact on your bottom line. No matter how negative a review may be, it is important not to take it personally. Even if you are mentioned by name in the review, letting your emotions control how you respond is damaging.

    It is also imperative to never ignore a negative review. You may feel that you don’t have to address a negative review because you have so many positive reviews on the page, but ignoring the negative review comes at a cost. Customers’ eyes are immediately drawn to reviews with one star and an angry writer. The negativity coming from one bad review can quickly overtake your business’s reputation.

    Personal apologies are one of the best ways in which you can respond to a negative review. Try to empathize with the customer’s feelings and respond accordingly. 

    Customers also like discount codes and free items. Simply getting a coupon from a store or restaurant can feel like a proper acknowledgment of the customer’s problem.

    Fake Reviews 

    The spread of fake reviews is becoming a growing problem in the digital landscape. As alluded to, reviews nowadays don’t always come from happy or unhappy customers, they can be used as smear campaigns by competitors or online trolls. 

    Dealing with fake reviews is not always as easy as dealing with real, unhappy customers. However, it’s still imperative to not leave them ignored. That being said, responding to fake reviews can bring more harm than good and lead to a combative back and forth with the reviewer, or additional fake reviews being published.

    Use Negative Reviews as a Learning Opportunity

    Overall, use negative reviews as a learning experience. After you have accounted for malicious reviews and trolls, you will see that negative reviews contain hidden wisdom for your business.

    A negative online review may signify that your company is not meeting the customer’s needs and addressing their pain points. It may be a sign that your quality control is slipping or that your employee training needs to be increased. No matter what you learn from your negative reviews, use them to make your company stronger.

    Reporting Reviews That Violate Site Standards

    In addition to handling legitimate negative reviews, it is crucial to know how to manage reviews that violate a given review platform’s standards or community guidelines and remove negative reviews. This can include fake reviews, spam, reviews with inappropriate content, or those targeting individuals with harassment. Identifying and reporting these reviews is a key step in maintaining the integrity of your business’s online presence.

    Firstly, familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines of the review platform. Each platform has its own set of rules about what constitutes a violation. This knowledge will help you accurately identify reviews that breach these standards. Once a review is identified as violating the site’s policies, report it immediately through the platform’s reporting system. This typically involves clicking a “report” or “flag” button and selecting the reason for the report. Provide any necessary details to support why the review violates the guidelines.

    It’s also essential to monitor your reviews regularly. Regular monitoring helps in promptly spotting and reporting inappropriate reviews before they can do significant damage to your reputation. In some cases, you may need to provide additional information or follow up with the review platform to ensure the matter is being addressed.

    Remember, while it’s important to address and learn from genuine negative feedback, protecting your business from malicious and fake reviews is equally vital for maintaining a trustworthy and professional online presence. By effectively identifying and reporting reviews that violate site standards, you can help ensure that the feedback on your page accurately reflects your customer’s experiences.

    Getting Professional Help

    Responding to online reviews can be an extensive, time consuming process, and is not a discipline that should be rushed. If your brand is struggling to keep up with the management of your review platforms, or you are being ravaged by fake, malicious complaints, it may be a good time to contact a professional reputation management company like Guaranteed Removals

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    Interested in what Guaranteed Removals has to offer? Get a free no-obligation quote!

    Let's Chat!

    Interested in what Guaranteed Removals has to offer? Get a free no-obligation quote!

    Let's Chat!

    Interested in what Guaranteed Removals has to offer? Get a free no-obligation quote!

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    Our Reputation Specialists are standing by to answer all of your questions

    Let's Chat!

    Our Reputation Specialists are standing by to answer all of your questions

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    Our Reputation Specialists are standing by to answer all of your questions

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    Our Reputation Specialists are standing by to answer all of your questions