No one likes getting negative reviews. Especially, if they cannot figure out which customer the review is from. Before you stress, or respond out of anger, read this article for advice on why you should respond, the best way to respond, how to spot false reviews and how negative reviews can be beneficial.
Why Responding to Negative Reviews Is A Must
As a small business owner or employee, you take pride in the work that you do and the services that you provide. So, when you see a negative review, you might take it personally and be tempted to lash out with an expletive filled response defending your honor and setting the record straight. Although it might make you feel better, it is not beneficial to your brand. Use the reviewer’s feedback to provide a better service for future customers who might feel the same way, and you may have the opportunity to win over an upset customer into a loyal brand ambassador.
How Should You Respond to A Negative Review?
When people see that you have a negative Google review, they will decide if the reviewer made sound comments, if it appears as a one-off experience, or if the reviewer is just being inflammatory. Then, they will look to see how you responded. It is extremely important not only that you do, but that you do so with a brief, informative, non-emotional and friendly tone. Striking the right balance of tone in your response to a dissatisfied customer is paramount.
You should always respond to a negative review since they can be a driving force for business growth. Let the consumer know you want to resolve the situation to their satisfaction. Make it apparent that you are doing everything you can to address the issue they have highlighted. If it is helpful, consult with a second opinion.
How Do You Spot A Fake Review and What Can You Do?
Unfortunately, not every online review is real. Sometimes bots post fraudulent material to websites, deterring potential customers. In other instances, you may have a competitor that leaves a revenge review even though they have never used your business services. Either way, false reviews are frustrating. Luckily, there are tools you can use to spot a fake review or address a false review.
Google has a strict Comment Posting Policy, and you can utilize their free tool to report inappropriate reviews you feel are:
- Spam, inaccurate, posted multiple times, from multiple accounts, are misleading, were posted on the behalf of another person, or are off topic
- Solicitations, political or social commentary
- Promotional for products or services unrelated to the business, motivated by financial gain
- Revealing of personal information, phone numbers or email addresses
- Conflicts of interest
- Illegal, obscene, profane, or violent in content
- Inciting of hatred, bullying, harassing or that attack an individual or group
You can also report Facebook reviews that violate their Facebook’s Community Standards.
Fakespot is an online service that will analyze and identify if a post is fake or not. The software is quite simple: all you need to do is copy and paste the URL onto the website, and Fakespot will do the rest.
Can Negative Reviews Be Beneficial?
Having a business with a lot of reviews that are all 5 stars can appear suspicious to potential customers and they may wonder if you’ve only had close family and friends review your business or paid for the reviews. No business is perfect. A subpar review can be helpful to show balance, but only if you respond appropriately. In addition, negative reviews can help your business grow. Sometimes a consumer is better at pointing out potential flaws in your service than you are. If you make it apparent that you are going to address the solution, your company image will survive a few negative reviews. If you proceed with adjusting aspects of your business, you can also ask the reviewer to consider reviewing you again.
Do You Need Help with Review and Reputation Management?
The majority of consumers only trust 4-5 star businesses, and since they vote with their dollars, maintaining a positive online perception of your business is a must. If you need help managing and generating online reviews WebMarkets can help. We offer specialized digital marketing strategies, including review management, to help promote and grow your online presence. Contact us today for a free demo.