Reviews are a double-edged sword for businesses. While they increase visibility, and credibility, online, they can also be used against you - and one bad review can haunt a brand for years. Here are some tips on dealing with negative comments.
For public relations practitioners, every "crisis" is an opportunity, so is every negative review. When a customer engages with your business online, they are reaching out to communicate with you in a public sphere visible to everyone. In the new media landscape, humanizing your brand with a personalized reply provides an opportunity to be perceived as humorous, humble, sincere, reasonable or any desired adjective under the sun!
It’s f inally dawned on me why so many hyperlocal businesses hate Yelp and are so afraid of review sites in general. There was massive backlash against the new site Peeple , which was originally marketed as a “Yelp for individuals."
A recent article in Street Fight highlighted how the hotel industry is using feedback from review sites to invest in improvements in their establishments and offerings. Notably, in some cases, widespread changes were made in policy or offerings based on what people said on review sites. The most interesting nugget was that it wasn’t just the feedback of their own hotel that was acted upon, but reviews given to other hotels that were deemed helpful in making strategic growth decisions.
For most small business owners, a large portion of their new business comes from word- of- mouth. Many of these business owners don’t ask for or promote online reviews or feedback - t he typical theory is that a bad review will impact them negatively, so they would rather have no reviews than risk even one negative comment .
Local businesses should strive to portray an authentic view of their business. This includes making sure their website has some information about the owners and staff, and also making sure they are getting customers talking about them online and giving them feedback. It’s great for their business to learn from customers, and it’s also great for their Local SEO. But it needs to be authentic in order to be effective.