7 Time-Tested Ways to Deal with Negative Online Reviews

June 24, 2016

Consumers these days rely more on the opinions of other buyers than an advertisement or any other influences while making buying decisions. As per the study conducted by well-known customer service software platform Zendesk, 88% of customers are influenced by the reviews and opinions of other customers in their buying anything or availing any paid service.

Online review sites and social media opinions are increasingly playing a vital role in influencing customers. While reviews play such an important role negative reviews can have an adverse impact on your product appreciation or reputation online and can even impact sales. But however better you serve customers or make a committed approach you are bound to come up with bad reviews, no matter what happens.

The question is how to deal with these bad reviews? Here we are going to introduce 7 most time-tested ways to deal with negative online reviews.

1. Take it positively

Besides the bad impact that everyone talks of there is also a good side when you are reviewed negatively. By receiving a bad review from a customer, first of all, you give credibility to your review page on a website, because we all know all reviews cannot be positive but when a website publishes all on the good side, there are sufficient reasons for raising eyebrows. This is just one part of the whole thing.

Negative reviews also mean you have the opportunity to improve your service, business process and products. You can always take such reviews as constructive criticism and can address them with the same spirit. Such an approach can really play a positive role in improving your online reputation.

You should not let the negative feeling take over you when getting bad reviews. Just think of the bad press a sports star receives after a terrible failure upsetting his fans. Should he leave the game forever or should he analyze his shortcomings and prepare well for the next battle. A business should take negative reviews in the same spirit.

Bad reviews are also the type of feedbacks but maybe they come with a little too harsh expression. So, instead of putting yourself off you can deal with it intelligently and decipher the feedback within. The best way to cheer your spirit is to read the positive reviews you already received from your customers. Lastly, always remember that a negative review is far better than not being reviewed at all by unsatisfied customers since you cannot know where you can improve your service without their feedback.

2. Do not ignore and thank for the input

You can reside in a fool’s paradise by pretending that negative reviews never came in your way, but you never know where and when such thing can come. It is something no business can fully avoid because almost every business has a bad day once in a while resulting in an unsatisfied customer. So, you cannot help it but take it as normal twists and turns of business feedback.

Now, however, misjudging and abusive be the review you have to respond and first of all give the reviewer due thanks for his or her valuable input. The negative impact on other readers gets doubled or tripled if prospective customers coming across the review page sees no response in regard to a negative review. However tough it is to engage with negative reviewers it is extremely important for your business to take a guard by responding to them.

3. Ensure prompt response

A response to the negative review is extremely important but sooner you can respond to it more you can proactively silence the negative impact. The prompt response always shows that you are sincere and value their opinion. It can also make customers turn their negative frame of mind towards positive.

Besides prompt response, if you can sincerely offer them compensation for what they have suffered or lost, you can actually turn the whole review to your favor in the eyes of the online audience. Often by offering compensation you can win the trust of too many people. The same reviewer can even praise you for your prompt response and the actions and thus you can win more from a negative review.

4. Know how to take advantage of rating and review sites

Every consumer rating and review site on the web has their own way of ranking and filtering ranking reviews and you have no control over such procedures. But knowing them can be helpful. You can only target good reviews on these sites based on their criteria.

The algorithm used by Yelp considers three major factors in publishing reviews like quality, reliability and the activity of the reviewer on the site.

Tripadvisor, a travel specific review site reviews all travel related listed businesses like hotels, short stay apartments, restaurants, tour operators, local shops based on the star ratings garnered by these services.

5. Ensure a robust online presence

It is your online presence which will play a vital role in shaping and maintaining the online reputation for your business. First of all, you only can sense the vibe of your customers when you dwell on their opinions, feedbacks and reviews. A sustained and continuous online presence also allows keeping a tap on the traffic, queries and reviews. The faster response time will also have a big impact in satisfying them.

You have a plethora of online reputation monitoring tools such as Social Mention, Reputology, or Review Trackers that can help you monitor the online activities concerning your business and take proactive steps when needed. Social Mention is an absolutely free tool while others mentioned here are also affordable for any business.

6. Do not turn it into war like situation

Do not just wage wars with negative reviewers. That is just the last thing to do. Instead of turning it into a heated battle you can take some really effective steps. In Yelp you can avail the chance to respond these reviews privately and wherever needed, you can always take advantage of this. When the reviewer is too hostile or shows a combative approach, a public response can turn it into a war of words. So, to calm their anger you can take help of private response wherever needed.

7. Request for removing bad reviews

While a majority of the consumer rating and review sites does not allow removing any review, you can always request them for the same by explaining the reasons. In case of the reviews that are openly abusive or defaming in character without lacking any real logical ground, your request may be heard and considered. Before you make such request you have to claim your business listing.

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