Do Not Overreact to Negative Online Reviews
“Oh No… My business just got a scathing and negative online reviews on Google. Now everyone who does an online search on my business will see this awful review. My business is ruined!”
Many businesses go on a tirade such as this once they discover negative online reviews or content about their companies. However, if this ever happens to you, just keep calm and carry on.
It’s not the end of the world (although it could seem that say); it’s just one bad customer review.
First, let’s think about why this hypothetical customer is slandering your business on online reviews with his or her hurtful words. Why would someone take time out of their day to write about a business? I mean, most people are busy enough with work and family stuff.
Who has the time to do this?
One obvious reason is that this person had a legitimately awful experience at your place of business. They just hated everything because they feel you messed up somehow.
Now, they want to let the entire world know so other people won’t “make the same mistake that they did.”
If this is the case, then you’ve got some work to do. You shouldn’t be complaining about this nasty customer; you should be working towards finding out why they are upset and what you can do to make it better.
Other Reasons People Write Bad Reviews
There’s another reason why people might write bad customer reviews: Because they’re bored and nobody has ever loved them.
In either case, you’re going to encounter both types of situations and you’ll want to be adequately prepared to deal with them.
But let’s be honest…
There are people who write bad customer reviews just because they’re miserable; and their only pleasure is to tear down other people’s hard work.
You’ll notice that even great restaurants (some of the best in the world) will have someone complaining; either the service was terrible, the food was awful, the prices were too high, and the list goes on…
Some people will write a bad review no matter what. It’s just the way the world works. (And it especially works that way on the online).
Therefore, consumers expect to see one or two negative online reviews by customers.
The good thing is that most consumers know how to filter out the review trolls and spot the legit ones.
None the less it’s still important to have a good strategy in place to manager negative online reviews because it still can tarnish your reputation online.
Steps to Fixing a Negative Online Reputation
In business, it’s inevitable that you will get a negative review or two.
If your business or company image has been tarnished due to your online reputation. Don’t sit back and hope it won’t affect your business – because it will. You need to TAKE ACTION!
If you are getting a lot of negative online mentions, without a doubt it will effect your traffic both online and off line.
A bad perceived reputation can dramatically impact your ability to attract new customers!
The good news is, your reputation can be managed and fixed! The question is, where do you begin?
Repairing and managing your online image can seen daunting and confusing! But, you can’t just sit back and ignore it or your local competition will win.
As a business owner or manager, you must be proactive and create your own reputation!
Follow these 6 steps to fixing a negative online reputation.
1. Stay on Top of What others Are Saying About You
Google your company name often and keep an eye on social media for when ever you or your business is mentioned. You could use the the free tool Google Alerts or paid tools like Mention to listen for discussions about your business or brand.
2. Respond and Handle Any Customer Complaints Promptly
This is when your customer service super powers must be at their best. Instead of ignoring customer complaints, become involved and correct the situation.
Finding out why a customer complained can help you identify where you might have service gaps. Take the opportunity to learn from your customers! In fact you should respond to all reviews Good or Bad – you will learn a lot!
3. Contact the Person Who Created the Negative Content Directly
Reach out to the person who put out the negative review to get more information and show that you care about their satisfaction.
Within 12 hours of receiving the negative review you should reach out to the person with an empathetic open note indicating that they have been heard and you would like to help the situation. The next step is to take the conversation offline.
You can always bring it back on line when you have a happy customer again and ask them to review you again.
4. Create and Publish Positive Content
Publishing articles, press releases, blogs and more on a regular basis to create a web of positive content relating to your business and brand can have a significant impact on how potential customers see your business.
If you are producing good quality useful content for your audience, it is you painting the picture of perception about your business.
5. Practice SEO Methods
Following best practice in SEO and in particular Local SEO using keywords that your target audience would be searching for will ensure your “positive” content reaches the top of the search engine results.
Local SEO practices include being correctly listed on as many, if not all, the review directories with consistent information.
6. Become Active in Social Media
Visit social media sites often to see what is being said about you, your brand and your company.
Become an active social influence on these sites to build your company’s presence, brand exposure and increase customer engagement. Social maters and here’s why:
– 41% of customers say a strong social media presence is important.
– 75% of social media users say they’ve taken action after being inspired by a business post!
Taking control of your online reputation is mandatory
Companies whom want to stay competitive and relevant in the market place must manage their reputations online. Period!
If your business is spending money on paid advertising but your reputation is negative! Then you have a very expensive problem.
Here are the facts:
9 out of 10 internet users search for local products, services and businesses online.
4 out of 5 people have received advice via social media regarding a companies brand, products and services.
of consumers Trust peer recommendations
of consumers Trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
Ignoring you Online Reputation can be Damaging & Expensive!
It can take years of build a great business and alone side that a good reputation. But a negative reputation can destroy years of hard work in minutes – that’s the power of the internet!
You can’t afford to sit back and let others dictate and mold your Company Image.
That’s where Reputation JUMP can really help business owners manage their reputation online like a pro!
REPUTATION JUMP provides the leading platform for small business that improves your online reputation through meaningful customer engagement. Why not checkout the features JUMP provides and when ready take a test drive for yourself by scheduling a Demo.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PASCAL MARTIN
Sales & Marketing Director
Pascal is the founder and Sales & Marketing director for REPUTATION JUMP. His expertise in developing high converting sales system & marketing funnels makes him an in demand consultant and advisor to small business owners. Pascal is an NLP Master Practitioner, Infusionsoft Certified partner & an active BNI Member & Ambassador. He enjoys a healthy lifestyle practicing Brazilian Jujitsu at any occasion.
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