Total SEO Reviews Guide: 3 Ways to Handle Negative Online Reviews
This article is for any business owner out there that understands the importance of gaining online reviews. So, you’ve spent potentially years, working hard to build a successful business, ensuring that you are delivering exceptional service to all of your customers. However, the worst case happens and for one reason or another, one of your current or previous customers decides to write a negative review online about your business. How do you handle this situation?
It’s very hard for emotion not to come into this. After all, it’s your business and personal to you. If someone writes something negative and potentially damaging, then it can feel like they are attacking you. We completely understand. Here at Total SEO, we’ve been gaining reviews for a number of years and that’s why we thought we would dispense some of our advice or how best to deal with this.
Step 1 – Remove the emotion and stay factual
Although your first response may be to panic, along with having feelings of hurt and anger, our biggest piece of advice is to try and contain and control those emotions. If not, this can lead you to rushing into a response that isn’t thought out and could end up damaging your reputation. Treat a negative review like an investigation. Read the full review carefully, break it down into sections, then pull together any facts you need to disprove the negative review. You can then respond online to the feedback in a positive, clear and concise way, which acknowledges their review but also explains to others (and the customer) why the comments are unfounded. Now, the only caveat to this is if the negative review is completely fair. Sometimes we all fall short of delivering what we should. If this is what happened in this case and resulted in a negative review, then our advice is to face it head on and apologise. Explain why your service fell short and steps for the future to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Step 2 – Look at your business
If a negative review has been left about your business, it is likely that there is some truth to their complaint somewhere. You need to look inside your own business and address any points made in a negative review from a customer to avoid more reviews being created from other customers in the future. This is where negative reviews can really be a positive for your business. They can highlight issues you never knew of but could be stopping your customers from staying with you or returning in the future.
Step 3 – Move on
Don’t focus on the negative. This will only lead to future problems. We know this point is extremely hard. Once a review is written about your business online whether good or bad, it is highly likely it can’t be removed. You may be tempted to keep looking back at the negative reviews. We advise on focusing on the positive and concluding with things you have changed in your business to address any negative points raised in the past. If you respond to the reviews, you can give yourself a mental ‘tick’ to it being dealt with and move on and focus on pushing your business forward.
We hope our 3-step guide to dealing with negative reviews helps you if you ever have to face this situation. For more advice on reviews, please this our Total SEO reviewssite, where we have an articles section with plenty of information.