Before 2014, Google reviews didn’t mean anything to small business owner Josephine Smith. But things took a drastic turn when a client of hers expressed concern about the three negative reviews mistakenly posted by some former customers. Josephine was taken aback! She didn’t even know that her business had negative reviews. She investigated and did everything it takes to get those misleading reviews removed. But while doing this, she wasted a significant chunk of her time.
Unfortunately, Josephine’s case is not an isolated one, and many have faced a similar situation in the small business community. Several businesses have experienced these situations that have eventually marred their overall reputation. So what can be done? Can small business owners follow any particular strategy to handle these negative reviews? Here are some tips on dealing with these negative reviews.
Get in touch with the review site
One of the simplest and best ways to deal with negative reviews is by simply contacting the review platform. Whether it is Google Reviews or Yelp, if you think that the review has been mistakenly put or added by some competitor site to mar your reputation- the professionals at these review platforms will immediately get it removed. But having said that, always remember that this is technique is only viable for reviews that have been mistakenly or intentionally added to hamper your business. If the review is genuinely a bad one, a better idea would be to work on the areas identified by your potential customer and improve them in the long run.
Directly communicate with the customer
Another great way to solve this debacle is by directly communicating with your customers. If you think that a customer has been genuinely dissatisfied by your service, ask them more about their experience and apologize in case of bad service. But while you do communicate with customers, always make sure that they are legitimate customers. Do not reply to random trolls. At the same time, refrain yourself from using profanities and hurling abuses. Try to be as polite as you can.
Respond right away!
When you do decide to communicate with the customer, make sure you communicate quickly and in a professional way. If your customers have taken the trouble to submit a review, it’s pretty evident that they expect an immediate answer. So address their concerns as soon as you can, and if you do manage to solve their issue (the one they’ve mentioned in the bad review), politely request them to remove the negative review.
Encourage the more positive reviews
In most cases, the negative online reviews are going to stay for some time. So a good idea would be to address the positive reviews and communicate in a friendly and professional manner. If you have lesser number of positive reviews, directly communicate with your clients and encourage them to post a good review on leading platforms like Google Reviews and Yelp.
Once you follow these guidelines, there’s absolutely no looking back for your small business!
Still need more help? Contact us and we’ll help you get more 5-star reviews and fix your online reputation quickly.