How to Be Proactive with Bad Online Reviews

Everyone’s got an opinion, and unfortunately as a small business owner some of those opinions can cause your business a lot of trouble. Managing your online reputation is a big must-do item on your daily checklist. Forget to do it, and you might find people deserting you in hoards. Bad reviews are a reality of online life. They are really easy to post, and will often sway large segments of the target audience on your side or not. The trick is getting much more of the positive to outweigh the unavoidable negative.

How to handle a negative review

Here are three steps to proactively manage the occasional negative review.

  1. Make customer service a high priority – A big part of the reason companies find themselves in the position of needing to handle a negative online review is that often there is a failure within their customer service or support. Often times customers are reaching out through various channels, including email, Facebook, Twitter or in blog comments. Often they are ignored for way too long, leading to one mad customer, who feels like they have no recourse other than to vent their frustrations on an online review site. In actuality, much of the time the whole scenario could have been avoided by paying a bit more attention to your social and internal channels.
  2. Be professional at all times – The worst thing you should do is get in to an online shouting match with a client. This won’t work out well for you, ever! Even if you’re right, you’re completely wrong to engage in this fashion, as it will scale this issue to heights you wouldn’t think possible. Aim to remain professional, generous, and aim to keep that customer, or at a minimum make sure you don’t lose more of them! Because this type of customer usually represents about 1% of your customer base, it’s simply not worth the trouble it causes.
  3. Encourage good reviews – One of the better ways for you to actively really make a difference is by supporting and even rewarding positive reviews of your services or products. Get an adequate amount of these regularly, and the infrequent negative review will not stand a very good chance of remaining high in the search results. On the contrary, they will more than likely bring you more customers!

Handling negative reviews isn’t brain surgery, but it does call for diligence and professionalism. Today with the speed of communication online, you haven’t any other choice!