Consumers across Australia rely heavily on online reviews. Globally, at least 9 in 10 consumers say their purchases are informed by online reviews. Clearly, online reviews are something that no business can afford to ignore. The correct approach involves making it possible for people to give you feedback by signing up with companies such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google and many more. You can also use one of the many review management companies, such as eKomi, to get the most out of online reviews. Every business in Australia should be on the hunt for positive reviews. Positive reviews are worth their weight in gold: 5 positive reviews on Yelp have the potential to boost your business by as much as 10%! But what happens when you receive a negative review from an irate customer or from a devious competitor? The fallout in that case has the potential to cost your business thousands of dollars. So, it’s important for every business to know how to deal with negative online reviews.
- Don’t panic
This is the first thing that you need to do when it comes to negative reviews. The thing to understand is that negative feedback is a part of life. If you are a business, there is probably no way that you are going to get 100% satisfied customers. Somewhere along the way, someone is going to give you a scathing review.
Dealing with people in general can be rather taxing. That is multiplied 10 times when it comes to dealing with angry customers. In most instances, the customer has a right to be angry; they feel cheated out of their hard-earned money. The best thing to do, on your part, is to remain calm.
If you go on the Internet today, you will come across instances where negative reviews have triggered a knee-jerk reaction from business owners. The result is usually a hilarious back and forth between the angry business owner and the customer. That, in any case, is the wrong approach. Turning a negative review into a slugging match only serves to further accentuate the negativity. It’s way better to simply ignore the review than to give it greater prominence through needless arguments.
- Respond promptly
Having said that, it’s important to point out that ignoring negative feedback is never an option. The best approach in this regard is to make sure that you respond to negative reviews as promptly as possible. Let’s say you have received a scathing review from someone who is not happy with your delivery times. Perhaps the issue was caused by circumstances beyond your control, such as a post office holiday. Quickly responding allows you to resolve the issue with the concerned customer. Do it right, and you could even convince them to turn their negative feedback into a positive.
- Deal with the matter offline
The Internet is enduring. A comment that is left there will probably still be around 20 years from now. That’s great, if you are getting positive reviews. However, it’s not so great when it comes to negative reviews. That is why it is so important to try to respond to negative feedback from your customers offline. If you engage in a slugging match with an angry customer on the Internet, you will only be adding to the negative content surrounding your brand. It’s much better to get on the phone with the concerned customer and try to resolve the issue that way.
- Have defamatory reviews removed
This is something that can be done with most online review companies. If you get defamatory reviews, or negative reviews from trawlers, then you can request to have these types of reviews removed from your profile.
- Drown negative reviews in positive feedback
In most instances, it is easier, however, to simply drown negative reviews in a sea of positive feedback. What you need to do is ensure that your happy customers are given as many opportunities as is possible to leave positive reviews. Most platforms show the latest posts first. Negative feedback will, therefore, eventually sink to the bottom of the page.
- Keep track of your online reputation
Online reputation management has become big business over the past few years. Truth of the matter is, there are hundreds of online review platforms out there. You are not going to be able to keep track of all of them without the aid of specially designed software. This is where online reputation management tools come into focus. An example of this is Google Alerts. How it works is: the moment someone mentions your name anywhere on the Internet, you will receive an alert through Google Alerts. Doing this allows you to promptly respond to negative reviews.
- Learn from negative reviews
Negative reviews are a serious matter, but they can also be useful from a business’ point of view. That’s because they can be used as a learning tool. The only reason why most people would bother leaving negative feedback would be if they encountered challenges in their interaction with your business. Perhaps they didn’t get helpful customer service. Maybe you were late delivering their products. Or they had some other challenge. If you notice that many of your customers have been complaining about similar issues, why not take action to have them resolved? Using the examples given above, you could, perhaps, try to expedite your shipping. Or you could also train your customer service personnel to be better able to deal with customer concerns.
- Automate the process of dealing with online reviews
Managing online reviews can be a full-time job, even for those that use typical online review management software. At eKomi, we make life easy for you by going beyond the services that are offered by our competitors. Not only do we provide you with everything that you need to gather feedback from your customers, but we also respond to any negative reviews on your behalf. We are, in this regard, one of the few fully managed online review management companies that can be found out there. Feel free to get in touch with us for more information!