If you are a business, it is inevitable that someone will, at some point, say something negative about you. That doesn’t need to be the end of the world, however. You simply need to know how to respond, which, as any online reputation repair professional will tell you, is down to being polite and professional. Let’s take a look at some guidelines.
Guidelines for Bad Review Response
- Read between the lines and find out what the main issue actually is, then give that your full attention. Customers have a tendency to vent if they feel disgruntled, but they generally only have a single issue. Focusing on this will simplify things and calm the conversation down.
- Don’t answer until you’ve checked the background. If a customer mentions an issue with an order, look into this order first. Have all the facts to hand before you reply.
- Be polite. Always apologize for the problem, thanking your customers for raising it, even if things aren’t your fault.
- Tell them who you are. This will make customers feel that they aren’t speaking to a robot and getting standard responses, but that they are being taken seriously.
- Be prompt. Don’t wait more than 24 hours before replying to a complaint and if you feel it will take longer, let the customer know.
How to Manage Your Online Reputation
Damage control isn’t enough, unfortunately, to consistently manage your online reputation. You have to put out the fire, obviously, but you also have to make sure that no new fires are started. You have to be reactive if something happens, but you have to be proactive every single day. This means updating, tracking, and monitoring at all times.
Preventing Further Bad Reviews
Unfortunately, there is no way that you can prevent every single bad review out there. You cannot please everybody, after all. Some people just love to complain, often in the hopes of receiving some sort of discount for future purchases. All you can do is mitigate the damage.
How to Mitigate the Damage
You can mitigate the damage by remaining in control of the narrative. You can’t stop people from saying things about you. All you can try to do is make sure that those things are said to your face. So, if you spot a negative review in a certain place that isn’t your own website, blog, or social media space, invite the customers to come there. And make sure you create a customer feedback form. That way, people will be less inclined to complain about you all over the internet, coming directly to you instead.
Mitigating the damage is also about being proactive. You must use your blog and social media pages to encourage more positive debate. You achieve this by:
- Focus on the positive. If you spot a positive review away from your website, highlight it yourself. Any positive mentions you get should be shared, while at the same time thanking whoever posted it.
- Always focus on your reputation. Managing it may be a fulltime job, it is a necessary one. You have to make sure that you always know what is being said about you.