Reviews are powerful. They can shape businesses. Small business owners might see their efforts go to waste if there are tons of negative reviews received. The good thing is that reviews provide customers the opportunity to know what other people have to say. It makes them feel more confident about their transactions. For online purchases, it’s even more consequential since customers don’t have the means of seeing the products before buying. It’s not easy to control what people say. If they didn’t feel satisfied and would like to leave negative reviews, it’s their choice. The only way for the business to make it up is by responding to these negative reviews. Having a concrete online review management plan will prevent negative reviews from dooming the company. These are the benefits of having a strategy to counter negative reviews and the best ways to do it.
Change people’s perceptions
The problem with reviews is that it only takes one to change people’s views. Some are too lazy to go through different reviews and compare what people say. Therefore, responding to a negative review is crucial. It changes people’s minds and gives them a better view of the company. If the negative review is powerful enough to sway their decision, the response can have the same effect.
Besides, if there’s a different perspective, there will be a choice on which one to believe. There’s a chance that the user believes the negative review, but it’s okay. There was at least an opportunity to present a different angle. Otherwise, only one idea will prevail, and it’s unfair.
Present the correct narrative
Another possibility is that competitors will use fake accounts to spread negative reviews. It’s a dirty trick that no company should do. However, these strategies are beyond anyone’s control. If they want to go in that direction to boost attention, it’s their choice. The only thing that the company can do is to make a counter-narrative. If the information is incorrect, it helps to present what really happened. The negative review shouldn’t continue to spread online since it could be damaging. Once the truth gets laid down, it would be difficult for the false narrative to continue.
Show good customer service
If people still want to believe the negative review, the response will still be useful. It shows that the business wants to provide better customer service. The response alone is already assigned that the business doesn’t want anyone to feel dissatisfied. It’s better than not saying anything at all. Even those who read the negative review wouldn’t believe what they saw, they will still feel bad about the business for not taking any action. A simple response would already suffice. It might help change perspectives related to customer service.
It might be too late
If the issues are too big, the best response should be an official statement from the company. It could be through a press release or social media accounts. However, for the company to even consider releasing such a statement shows that the issue already got beyond control. Therefore, it’s important to respond to negative reviews as soon as possible. It also helps to have an online review management tool to identify these negative reviews online. It’s easier to respond to them if the tools can help identify where they are.
Tips in responding
While it’s an excellent idea to respond to the negative reviews, the manner of doing the response matters a lot. The first step is to acknowledge the issue and apologize. There’s no point in arguing if the customers felt that way. Of course, it’s under the assumption that the review was correct, and the story really happened. Acknowledging the problem and apologizing is an excellent way to show that the business is responsible. It takes every aspect of the job seriously. However, it’s also crucial not to apologize if there is a legal repercussion. The business might acknowledge guilt by saying sorry. Consult with legal experts first before responding to the reviews if it could involve a potential legal problem.
It also helps to be more specific in outlining the response moving forward. It’s not enough to apologize. People reading the reviews also need to know the steps that the business will take moving forward. They need to know that the concerns don’t fall on deaf ears. They might decide not to buy the products and services if they didn’t feel good about handling the problem.
If the person who left a negative review responded and still had other issues, it’s better to talk about the problem privately. Send a direct message to discuss the issues further and determine how to settle them. Not everything needs to be in public view. The information for everyone to see should be short and sweet.
Throughout the responses, the tone needs to be professional. Even if the review sounds rude and the responses from the person who left the review are terrible, the tone should stay the same. Remember that the response is a representation of what the business stands for. It would be terrible if everyone reading the conversation might think that the people working behind the company are unprofessional and irresponsible with their choice of words. Instead of giving the company another chance, they might decide to look for another option.
It’s important to work with an online review management agency
Negative reviews will always be there. People will say whatever they want, depending on how they feel about the services received. It’s important to work with an agency that helps with online review management. They can spot the problems and respond to the customers right away. The tools at their disposal will also make it easier to deal with a problem. For personal reasons, we might decide not to respond to people who say bad things. It’s natural to learn which words to ignore. However, for businesses, everything needs a response. Otherwise, people will view the business differently, and it’s not a good thing.