Customers these days rely a lot on reviews to guide their purchase. Before a customer spends on a product or service, they want to get the experience prior customers had when they did business with your company. A bad online review can, therefore, thwart your sales. Google’s algorithms also use reviews to rank your site. Just a single negative review can reduce your Google rankings. So yeah, you should be worried if you get a series of negative google reviews. However, getting a negative review is common in everyday business, and you shouldn’t be too worried. Here are five steps to help you fix a bad online review:

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1. Avoid emotional outbursts.

When you get a bad review, your emotions will tell you to punch your computer screen and ‘hurt’ the reviewer. You will be tempted to pick up your gun and kill anyone who soils the reputation you have worked so hard to achieve. However, lashing out is not the best thing to do. When you lash out at your reviewer, the online community sees how you handle dissatisfied customers, and might stop doing business with you in fear that you will lash out at them when they complain about the services you offer. Always remember that your response will not only be read by the reviewer; your customers and prospects spend a good time on your website. You should prioritize their needs before your emotions.

Also, a negative review can improve your sales. Research has proven that. Sometimes, it takes a bad review to put your business in the lips of people who couldn’t have heard about your business. Do you know what they say? There’s no negative publicity!

2. Find out if it is a fake or legit review.

The internet is awash with fakes. Sometimes, the review might come from a competitor who is trying to get you out of business for their own good. Other times, haters, for no apparent reason, will give you a bad review even if they have never bought your product. So, before you devise a way to respond to a negative review, find out the authenticity of the review.

Check your records and find out if you have the reviewer as a customer. This might not be an easy task, but if you are a company that values its records, then all it might take is running a name search for the reviewer in your database. If the review is fake, you will need to flag it for Google to remove it. Here is a video to help you remove a fake review. However, you should keep things professional— even with a fraudulent reviewer. Reply to a fake review professionally because your other customers and prospects are watching your reaction, and each time, they imagine themselves being the complainant.

Respond to the post in a manner that makes them believe you take responsibility for your business errors. It builds your reputation and endears you to the customers. Make it known that you can’t find the reviewer’s name in your database, but show your willingness to follow through with the solution the reviewer seeks. After the response, flag the review and remove it from your site.

3. Respond quickly to negative reviews.

The worst mistake you can make when dealing with negative reviews is to ignore them or let them sit for a long time before you respond to them. Ignoring the review will not prevent potential customers from seeing it. When you respond to a negative review faster, you are sending a message to the people who are interested in your products that you take your business seriously, and will always be ready to resolve their issues.

Apologize for the dissatisfaction of the reviewer, and assure them that the problem will not happen again. This will assure your future customers that they are in safe hands. Keep your response brief and professional.

4. Rectify the issue.

While negative reviews can rub your business the wrong way, genuine Google reviews can help build a better product or service for your customers and help you beat your competitors. Giving reviews is a way customers give feedback. It is, therefore, a valid source of information that can help you gauge how your product fairs in the market.

Address all the issues the reviewer highlighted in their negative comments, and make it known that you have rectified the mistake. Rectifying the mistake not only helps you retain the customer who complained, but also helps you improve your service and attract more buyers. Sometimes, rectifying the mistake can be a hard decision to make, for example firing your employee or refunding the customer. Other times, it can take as little as updating the information on your website and rewording your offers to convey the right information. Whatever it is, make sure to address the issues, because if you get consistent negative Google reviews about an issue, the problem is not the customer— it’s you!

5. Stay on top of the negative review.

While a negative review can hurt your resolve to scale your business, you should not let it lame your business for long. The quicker you go above it, the better. Let your customer know that you fixed the issue, and give them an address to reach the relevant department in your organization if they have any other problems they might want to be solved. The reviewer will be so happy to have gotten your attention and service in rectifying the mistake. To the online community, availing solutions to the problems of one customer communicates that you value your customers and they can happily subscribe to your services.

In conclusion, negative reviews can affect your business gravely. However, how you deal with it can either build or break your business. These five steps will help you fix negative Google reviews and improve your online reputation among prospects and customers. If you would like to know more about maintaining a good reputation for your assisted living facility, contact us. We will be glad to help you fortify your business against negative reviews.

The Process

√ Voice of Customer Research

√ Messaging Framework

√ Marketing & Sales Alignment

√ 4-Month Marketing Action Plan

√ . . . and so much more!