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How to React and Recover if You Get a Bad Online Review

ImageMost companies have dealt with a bad online review at one point or another. The initial reaction for most is to do everything humanly possible to delete that comment and ignore it and pretend like you never saw it. Unfortunately, this isn’t typically going to be possible, and even if it was possible some people may notice your tricky tactics (and quite frankly, that makes you look much worse). As with anything you don’t want to see or hear, you have to face it head-on and react in order to recover. Bad online reviews are no different.

Tips and Tricks to Reacting to a Bad Online Review

Word-of-mouth referrals are some of the most important for small business, so online reviews are incredibly important. Online users typically trust other online users who offer real experiences, so the more positive online reviews, the better. Of course, any small business owner will tell you this is easier said than done. There are many different ways you can earn a review online—Yelp, Google+ reviews, reviews in the comments of your content or pages, any social media site, etc.—and you don’t always have control over who reviews your company. For all you know, it could be a competitor.

Fortunately, reviews do give you a chance to retaliate and react. If you handle bad online reviews correctly, they could end up doing you more good than harm. Consider the following three tips to reacting and recovering:

  1. Keep up with reviews. As discussed above, there are many different places your customers and clients can leave online reviews about your business. Therefore, it’s important that you are always monitoring these reviews so that if there is a bad review you actually know about it. After all, you can’t react if you don’t know there is anything to react too. Remember, the faster you can react, the better.
  2. Respond to everything negative. Always respond to negative reviews. In most cases, such as Google, you can respond publicly. This is best for two reasons: First, everyone can see that great customer service. Second, everyone can see your explanation and why you might think that review was incorrect. If a website doesn’t allow you to respond publicly, such as Yelp, respond privately so at least you’re taking an interest in that customer and learning how you can improve. As always, keep your responses professional.
  3. Encourage customers to leave positive reviews. Make it easy for your favorite customers to offer online reviews. Send them an email with a direct link explaining what to do, and don’t count out asking for it in person. Engage with your customers and show that you really care.

The biggest thing to keep in mind: Don’t ignore negative reviews. You have to do something, and searching around the web for a way to delete and ignore the review isn’t it. Remember that even negative reviews can serve as a positive. They give you an outlet to show your great customer service and turn a bad relationship into a good one (hopefully creating a life-long customer). If nothing else, just remember that the review can be overshadowed by a lot of positive reviews, so always encourage your customers to help!

image: review/shutterstock

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