Responding to Negative Reviews: Tips for Small Businesses

No business wants to find that a bad review has been left for them online, but it happens to everyone. The good news is that there is a way to respond to negative reviews that can actually help your business.

Responding to Negative Reviews

Here are six strategies that will help your business learn how to handle negative online reviews.

  •  Stay Positive: Regardless of what your customer says about your business, don’t become defensive. If you act poorly toward them, it can quickly spiral into a public relations nightmare. Rise above the fight and make sure that you’re in a solid frame of mind before you respond.
  •  Be Appreciative: It can be hard, but thanking your customers for leaving a review and letting you know where you can improve your service or product can go a long way to calming an upset customer.
  •  Keep It Short: Don’t write a never-ending paragraph, just a simple response is enough.
  •  Be Sincere: Never copy and paste or use canned responses. Write a genuine, kind reply to your customers to help show that your company truly does care about each customer.
  •  Don’t Offer Gifts: There is no need to provide freebies in the hopes of gaining a more positive review. This not only sets a bad precedent for other customers but can even come across as bribery.
  •  Flag Slanderous Comments: If the review violates online policies or laws, notify the review site and ask for it to be removed.

Remember, future customers will read not only the poor reviews, but also your responses to them. Don’t give them any reason to believe you don’t care, are holding a grudge, or are mean.

Responding to Positive Reviews

Just as important as responding to a negative review, leaving a proper response to a positive review shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are a few tips:

  •  Respond Quickly- If you let a positive review sit for too long, your customers will think you didn’t care about them enough to respond even when they took the time to show their own appreciation.
  •  Thank the Reviewer- It would be poor manners if you didn’t say thank you. Show your appreciation and make it personal by referring to specific things they mentioned.
  •  Keep It Short- Keep your message brief, but impactful. If you leave a lengthy response, you could come across as less genuine.
  •  Invite Them to Take Action- Add in a small call-to-action in your response. It could be asking them to share their experience with their friends, to like your social media page, or to sign up to receive future offers.

 Use an Online Customer Review Management Program

If you need help taking control of your customer interactions, an online customer review management program may be just the thing. There are a variety of benefits that comes from implementing this type of platform:

  • Quickly collect online reviews from hundreds of sites.

  • Prioritize the review sites that matter most to your business.

  • Combine your reviews with higher rankings in local search.

  • Easily collect reports of online reviews.

  • Use the built-in customer messaging service.

  • Better understand your customers.

  • Personalize your customer interaction.

  • Build trust.

When all of this is done in one easy-to-use program, your business will be able to find and properly respond to online reviews like never before. It’s important to be proactive with your reviews. Above we discussed tips to help you strategize the best ways to reply to negative and positive online reviews. By interacting with your customers, you will keep the business conversation flowing and help your business continue to grow.