Online reviews are a cornerstone of how consumers make decisions whether to buy a product or not. If you see a product that you want, you will read through the reviews to make sure that you are going to be getting what you need from the product. If the product website does not have reviews, the odds are good that you are searching online for one that does have them. But what if you are the business that is getting reviewed? There is a certain level of expectation that you are not going to have 100% positive reviews, right? Here we discuss some ways that you can handle negative reviews online.
The Site Does Not Matter
It does not matter if the review was posted on a very well-known site or one that you might have never heard of, people will find it online. That means you have to take all of them seriously and get a plan in order so that you can defend your business against them. The first time that you see a negative online review about your business you are probably wishing that you had an online public relations degree. Build a plan and stick to it and then reviews will eventually get taken care of on all the sites they are posted to.
Contact the Review Site First
Depending on the review site where you found the negative review, you might be able to contact them about it. Take a minute and search through the site to see if you can find contact information relevant to your review and how to handle it properly. If you think the review was added by a competitor, you may have a leg to stand on to get it removed, but the process will have to be fool proof.
Join In and Engage The Reviewer
If the website that you find the negative reviews on allows you to respond to them, take a minute and do just that. Being able to explain the situation to them and possibly clear up the reasons they left the review is the first step to repairing your reputation. There is not really any need to hire a public relations expert for this, but an intern working towards an online masters in public relations might not be a bad place to start looking for help.
Always Encourage Positive Reviews from Customers
In many cases, and to keep things fair, you might find that negative reviews are not going to disappear from the internet. If that is the case, you can combat them by asking your future customers to leave positive reviews if they are satisfied with your business. There is nothing wrong with asking for some help if they are truly happy with your services. Over time, this will push the negative reviews and bring your overall average rating up, helping your business.
Take a minute to take a look at your business and if there is anything that might cause a negative review. There could be a few easy fixes that you can do to keep the negative reviews to a minimum. Good luck!