Here are a few tips on how to turn negative online reviews into a positive experience for your small business.
Usually an online review that is negative is bad for business. But the way you react or overreact to the review determines how prospective customers are going to feel about your business. A negative review may seem like a slap in the face especially if the review is unjustified or overly exaggerated.
There are a few dos and don’ts that you need to consider when addressing a negative review.
Remember to step back, take a breath and don’t panic.
Next try not to respond to the reviewer online if possible. Obviously if you don’t know who posted the negative review this is going to be difficult. But if you do, try to contact the reviewer by telephone. The purpose of this is to try and solve the problem or to see what you could do for them to issue a retraction and remove the post. If you don’t feel comfortable in calling them, send them an e-mail. Make sure however that what you say in the e-mail may get posted on the Internet for everyone to see, so don’t be threatening or abusive as this isn’t going to put your business in a favorable light.
If you have no idea who posted the negative review and you can respond online, address their concerns. Sometimes for the sake of future business (by people who are viewing the negative review) it is best to be apologetic and tell them you are willing to rectify the problem and compensate them. Maybe explain what went wrong on this occasion and what you had done to make sure it won’t happen again. Often other people that view negative reviews will be swayed to do business with you if they see that you were doing everything possible to keep a customer happy.
Another thing you can do is push the review out of view. You can do this by asking other customers for reviews. “You should be doing this any way”. Most reviews show the last one posted so getting another 5 to 10 positive reviews should push the one negative review out of sight.
On the positive side negative reviews show you where you can improve your business.