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Do you ever conduct the “small search” for your own business online? Let’s confess it, it’s pleasant to see mentions of your company and enjoy a bit more exposure to the world around and excellent online reputation.
But what if one day this search yields results that are, ahem, less than flattering?
Imagine an angry Yelp rant about how horrible your service is appearing on that very first page of Google search results.
Many businesses actually dread this situation. The good news is, bad reviews don’t mean bad business. In fact, even the businesses with the highest quality of services don’t dwell in a magic “5-star-review” world and have their share of online “badmouthing”. The important thing about negative online reputation is how you handle it. For some it may be downright awful, while others may use it as a way to showcase how thoroughly they approach customer reviews and how much they care for each client!
Let’s make sure you belong to the second category by looking at some practical steps for dealing with negative online reputation.
Deal away with false and inappropriate reviews
Before you start elaborating on negative reviews, check their origin! If you believe that a particular review breaks the rules of the review site (e.g. contains profanity) or is actually a false review written with malicious intent (e.g. by a competitor), contact the site and request that it be removed. It doesn’t work 100% of the time and it may take a while for the site to remove the review, but it’s worth giving it a try!
Pass on to actual negative reviews
Now if you are sure the review is actually written by a real client, here are some steps to help you get your head around this.
- Answer negative reviews publicly
When you elaborate on an issue with your client publicly, you not only tackle a specific problem of a specific client, but you show your overall approach which will definitely be noted by your potential market.
- Listen and make changes
Does the client complain that your headhunting system has a bug? Don’t just answer by saying that their review is very important and your team is doing their best to avoid such issues in the future. Instead, solve the issue as soon as possible, and answer by letting the author of the review (and everyone else) know that yours is a company that is a problem-solver and one that resolves issues quickly.
- Return to the negative review once again for a follow up
After you publish your answer, give your client some time to check the changes and follow up to see if they are happy and if there’s anything else you can help them with. This is an excellent way to put a positive end to something that started as a negative review.
Now that you’ve handled the issue, work on making your business look even better! How, you may ask? Simply ask your clients and user base to add more reviews. While negative reviews can make the review section look more authentic, a large number of positive reviews ensure your business keeps negativity balanced!
So, next time you stumble upon a negative review online don’t panic: just make it useful for your business! And if you wonder what some of the other ways are you can maintain an excellent reputation and sell high-end products, download our brand new free ebook below.