Reviews: 7 Small Business Tips on Defending Negative Feedback
Negative reviews can definitely feel like a thorn in the side of any small business. Even if you do everything right, a disgruntled customer may feel compelled to write negative reviews about your small business on a blog, social media channel or website, for no good reason whatsoever. It’s hard to admit, but as a small business owner, you just can’t please everyone all the time.
Although a negative review can feel detrimental in this world of non-stop Internet conversations, there are certain avenues that you can take to alleviate the situation. Protect your small business from negative reviews by keeping the following tips in mind:
1). Track Your Reviews: Research the review sites your small business might be on and monitor the comments. Google Alerts is a great way to keep track of online mentions.
2). Decide If It’s Worthy of a Response: Although you should respond to all comments as a part of engagement, it’s nearly impossible to do so. The best line of defense for your small business is to monitor online comments and give priority to issues that may harm your reputation.
3). Get Your Execs Involved: Having a negative review handled by someone important in the company holds more influence than replies from other teammembers. Respond to comments via your professional profile so that users know who is getting back to them.
4). Make Excellent Customer Service a Priority: Receiving a negative review is a great way to show your small business as one that cares about customer satisfaction. Say thank you, and tell the reviewer that you appreciate the matter being called to your attention. Always offer to resolve the issue offline and provide your contact information. Don’t forget to respond to good reviews as well.
5). Never Argue: Although it may be tempting, never argue with a disgruntled reviewer. The customer is already angry; the best you can do is hear their comments and try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
6). Increase Positive Reviews: Your small business has many contacts within your network that can be a great resource for providing positive feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask them to post a review when they give you a verbal compliment.
7). You May Have to Delete It: If you believe that your small business is receiving spam comments or is being seriously harassed, then you have every right to delete the negative mentions. Be careful how and when you go about this though, it may backfire.
Customer satisfaction is one of the most important goals of a successful small business. Despite your tireless efforts, there may be myriad reasons why someone would be compelled to write a negative review. If you find your small business in the middle of an argument, the key is to treat your disgruntled reviewers as well as you would your best client; always be as diplomatic as possible in all of your comments. Do you have any unique strategies in dealing with negative reviews? If so, please share below!
Photo Credit: Lio Leiser aka Hans Hass
Tags: Comments, Reviews, small business