Negative Online Business Reviews, Ratings and How To Deal With Them
A good friend of mine and a local business owner was recently put on blast online when he was caught off guard. He found himself on the wrong end of someone paying for him to receive fake negative online business reviews posted about his business.
Today I will talk you through ways to help prepare yourself and handle negative online business reviews.
1. Why do I need to collect online business reviews and ratings?
You know that you offer a great product, but are you doing enough to make sure that you are collecting powerful social proof? Others are always looking at the reviews to make a decision between spending money with you or your competition. Online business reviews are needed to help increase your SEO (search engine optimization) for people to not only find you but see that other people have had a great experience.
Collecting reviews is important for your sales potential and trust factor, but also to safeguard you from someone deciding to bomb your online accounts with fake negative reviews. Most people will not take the time to actually read the reviews. Potential customers will glance at the star rating and feel they have all of the information they need on you and your organization to make an “informed” decision.
By being proactive with your review collecting efforts you can help offset the threat of someone posting lots of negative reviews. In the case of my friend, he went on a binge of getting as many of his previous customers to post a review of his services to offset his poor star ratings. The great news is after a few weeks/months (which certainly hurt his business) he was able to get Google and the other online services to take down the clearly fake reviews. Now he has tons of reviews to show for his efforts, but the damage may have been done to his business for any potential clients who took one look at his poor rating and moved onto a competitor.
2. How do I collect more online business reviews, ratings?
Once you have decided that collecting online business reviews is important for you and your organization you need to get up and start collecting reviews and ratings. Offering an incentive for your customers or clients to get something desirable can increase the likeliness of getting a review posted. Offering a raffle for reviews is another great way to incentivize customers to leave a positive review.
Another way to go about getting reviews is to craft some review templates for customers to easily post about their positive experience. Being creative can be a tough task for some people, so having a template to help them along with the process of leaving a positive review can be very helpful for some.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the reviews and don’t forget to spread the online business reviews around so that you aren’t vulnerable to one or two negative reviews sinking your overall rating on any single platform.
3. How should I respond to negative reviews?
If the negative review is legit, you should not be looking to come off as defensive. It can be so tempting to want to spring right to defensive mode, but instead, you should be viewing this as an opportunity to show off how caring your organization is.
Always be looking for an opportunity to reach out to the person to create a better and more personal experience. Showing that you care will go a much longer way than trying to fix any wrong doing in a public forum. Give out the proper contact information and ask for them to reach out if that is the best way to have a conversation.
Once you have the previous client/customer on the phone, chat or email you can start to diagnose what went wrong. Asking questions to get the most amount of information will leave the least amount of room for imagination or assuming (we all know what assume means). Once you have all of the data you will likely need to form a proper resolution for the client/customer.
Don’t get defensive, it will likely not go any better for you. This does not mean the customer is always right when trying to resolve a conflict. Be prepared to weigh your options to get to a resolution and be ready to give them a few different options to resolve the conflict.
Let’s Wrap It Up
You never want someone to look at your online business reviews, ratings and get a bad perception of your business before you have had a chance to say “hello!”. Turn negative reviews and comments into an opportunity to show off your customer support and how much you care about your customers.
Want help implementing these steps into your business?
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