Negative reviews happen to everyone. No one is perfect 100% of the time, but it’s how you respond it matters. How should you deal with negative reviews? In this article, we will cover the following:
- How to access the situation
- Your response time to negative reviews
- When you can flag reviews to Google
So, it’s happened. It’s that worst-case scenario you’ve been dreading. You’ve woken up, rolled over, checked your phone and absolute horror has washed over you. Someone has posted a negative review of your company on Google!
Not only are you disheartened from the sudden negativity placed upon your business—the business you’ve put so much time, money and heart into—but you’re also concerned about how this will affect your brand’s ongoing online reputation.
- Will this hurt sales?
- Will this deter consumers?
- Is it true?
- What could you have done better to prevent this?
- Have your employees let the team down?
It’s certainly a lot to consider, but in situations such as these actions must be taken promptly.
It’s a very well known fact that more than 85% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, so protecting and managing your brand’s online reputation must be treated as top priority.
Here at Ekomi Australia, we’re experts at reviews management and our results show it. We’ve put together a few important points you should utilise in order to deal with negative reviews.
Assess The Situation
Assessing whether a negative review is genuine. Has it been written by a competitor or even by disgruntled employee or someone who has confused your brand with a different business. If ignored, negative reviews can potentially damage your brand’s online reputation, particularly anyone who researches your business can see it.
Once you’ve determined the review is genuine, remain calm. It’s easy to let your blood pressure get the better of you and fire back a scathing response, but we encourage you to try and look at it as free marketing research. At the end of the day, constructive criticism is imperative for growth. All businesses have the capacity to improve in one way or another. Consider how to rectify the issue so you can make the necessary changes.
If you have a suspicion that the review is fake, spam, refers to a legal matter or may contain prohibited or restricted content, there is something you can do.
After your own investigation is carried out, you must respond swiftly to the review, even if it is indeed fake.
With a response, you’re given a second chance; an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. The way you respond to the negative review shows other customers your business is concerned and willing to take appropriate action to fix the situation.
Better yet, it shows that your business is human and willing to extend the brand-consumer relationship beyond the culmination of the service.
Try to avoid open discussions and the use of public forums, especially since the business-to-consumer subject nature is private. Rather, reply briefly, apologetically, and request alternative methods of communication such as offering to discuss the matter via email or phone.
If you manage to come to an amicable conclusion with the customer and turn their negative experience into a positive one, request that they update their review!
Regardless of the consumer’s review, ensure you are always professional. In other words, communicate in a helpful tone of voice and convey a sense of care to your customer.
Flag it on Google My Business
If you believe that the review violates Google’s posting guidelines, promptly flag it by clicking on the three-dot menu icon and selecting the ‘flag as inappropriate’ action.
In doing this, you will need to justify to Google why you think the post should be removed so refer to their guidelines on prohibited or restricted content first.
Once you’ve flagged the post via your Google My Business account, you’ll get a response normally within three days.
So, if you do happen to stumble across a not-so-flattering review, don’t ignore it, take action. It’s imperative to your business’s online reputation.
Remember to assess the situation, consider the appropriate action, and flag it if necessary! You see, investing into your online presence is imperative for every business and this is where Ekomi comes into play.
Ekomi Australia is pioneering reviews management and can help you boost your online presence. If you’d like a no-obligation, free consultation, get in touch with us today!