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Handling Negative Online Reviews – What to Do & What Not to Do

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Handling Negative Online Reviews – What to Do & What Not to Do

Handling negative online reviews are becoming the new standard that consumers use to judge businesses in today’s technology-savvy world. Consumers can instantly access millions of reviews from people who have used a product or service, and then decide whether to buy that product or use that service themselves.

While this wealth of information is good for consumers, it can be bad for businesses that don’t respond properly to negative comments. Even the best business or greatest product will have some negative reviews here and there. Make sure you know how to handle them.

Don’t respond negatively. Your first reaction to a negative review of your business might be to get defensive. But this can just fan the flames and make things worse. Instead, politely apologize and address the reviewer’s concerns. In some cases you might offer further clarification of the issue, especially if the reviewer is being unfair; but always maintain a cordial tone.

Don’t ignore or delete negative reviews. The worst thing you can do is cover up or ignore negative reviews. Take the time to address the reviewer’s concerns and criticisms. For example, if you run a restaurant that is getting poor reviews for customer service, apologize to the reviewers and offer a way to make amends. You may also want to invest in better training for your servers and announce these changes on your social profiles or a blog post.

Also note that if reviewers are avid bloggers or have a significant online presence, they often write a follow-up review praising the company on its responsiveness.

Do learn when NOT to respond to negative reviews. Not all negative reviews merit a direct or public response. Some people just write negative reviews to heckle the business and their reviews have no merit whatsoever. Depending on where the review was left, you may be able to report it as harassment (Google and Yelp are two services that allow you to report abusive reviews).

Do stay diligent and monitor online reviews. Having an online presence means managing your digital reputation, so don’t let a poor online presence you’re your reputation. It’s easy for people to leave negative reviews at the drop of a hat. Keep up with the latest reviews and set up alerts with review sites so you receive an alert whenever somebody reviews your company.

If you need help managing your online presence, fill out our contact form or give us a call at 855-692-3947.