Bad Customer Reviews: What to do When Your Business’s Reputation is Questioned Online

451633133-116182_238x238With so many people taking to the Internet to discover the good, the bad, and the ugly before they do most things, having and maintaining a good reputation is important to the success of your business. And because websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and even your own social media pages are easy to find and interact with, bad reviews can be one of the first things a potential customer sees.

Here’s the should’s and the should-not’s for how to handle bad customer reviews.

You should not…

… deny there is a problem. Don’t make an account, open up a text box and proclaim your innocence. Even if you are not at fault, don’t tell the customer they are wrong.

… start an argument in a publically accessible forum. It’s the same as arguing with a customer in front of other customers.

… ask friends, family, and so on to make an account and write positive reviews to counter the negative one. If you are found out, (and there are systems in place to make these discoveries), it’ll be worse than when you started.

… remain silent. Bad reviews won’t just go away. But that doesn’t mean you have to let the bad vibes flow. Not doing anything tells other potential customers that you simply don’t care.

You should…

… view the complaint with an objective eye. If the review is not serious, or is full of abusive and bad language, chances are it will be removed with no action your part. Flag it for violation and let the moderators decide first.

… respond with a higher mind. Responding to a negative review requires couth and tact and should never be sarcastic or degrading. Addressing privately shows genuine intent on fixing the problem, responding in public shows others that you are intent on addressing the concern.

… state your apology and offer reparations. There’s no need to qualify the complaint with specifics. Simply, say that you are sorry, and ask what you can do to fix the problem.

Addressing online complaints with regularity and consistency is important to the image you would like others to see. Taking action on a negative review proves to other customers that you are engaged and care about what they think. Check out Google Alerts and Social Mention to see when your business’s name is mentioned online.

For more tips and tricks and information on how we can help you, contact us any time.


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