I had a great interview this morning with a business journal discussing how to handle a negative review!
Whether you're a new entrepreneur or seasoned business owner, my advice when you get a negative review is to first: Don't Panic!
DON'T REACT ANGRILY - Your initial reaction may be to get defensive. Read the review in full and respond with professionalism. Potential customers will appreciate that as a business owner, you responded to the remark and offered a solution or acknowledged the issue. You can also private message them asking for the full story - whether it was a product issue or service. It's best to have these back-and-forth discussions in private.
SPAM/COMPETITION - If you feel the negative review is from a competitor, you can contact Google or Yelp to have them review the situation. Online sites like Yelp and Zillow will filter out reviews they feel are spam. Unfortunately, they will not remove all the negative reviews, or even post all the positive ones.
POSITIVE RE-ENFORCEMENT - If you get a negative review, this would be a great time to also reach out to customers who had a positive experience. Having more positive reviews coming in after the negative one will help push the bad one down - highlighting the new, positive ones.
THE ASK - Most people don't want to "bother" or ask their customer's for a review. Why, fear? Chances are if a customer was to write a negative review, they would have done so already. If your customer had a great experience with you, don't be afraid to ask! You can also put a link into your follow-up email to them.
Google also has a link you can generate. When you click on it, it will bring you right to a review box - simple!
BE CAREFUL - Yelp has strict guidelines about soliciting reviews from customers. Before asking for recommendations or reviews, it's best to review the site's policy about reviews and content.
ACKNOWLEDGE - Don't forget to respond to the positive reviews too! Your customer took the time to write a nice review, respond to them, thanking them for writing the review.
Yelp, Google, Facebook and others may not take every negative review down, so it's important to review them immediately and respond.
What's your experience been like responding to negative reviews or positive ones? Would you like to add any suggestions to this list?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (203) 429-9671 for more information and how to generate review links.
Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC is a marketing agency in Darien, CT & NYC. We service businesses with marketing strategies, social media and consultations.