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No one likes a negative review

Negative reviews are never something you want to see on your business page. Whether written by a difficult customer, or caused by a genuine error that resulted in poor service, negative reviews will happen. It is almost an inevitability, which is why it is so important to have a strategy on how to handle them.

If you’re fortunate enough to have negative reviews few and far between, then it may be tempting for that strategy to be “ignore them.” Complaints here and there are unavoidable. It might seem like something that small can be left alone and let it go without a response. However, those negative reviews don’t go away with time and they impact your overall reputation.

You dislike negative reviews, but potential customers dislike them even more

When a prospective client is researching a new business to visit, they’re likely to turn to a search engine to help them find places near them. Front and center on search results pages will be a business name, along with the ratings given by customers. Usually a solid 4-5 star rating will satisfy, but if a rating dips below a 4-star that triggers more investigation to be done.

Potential customers will read through reviews and can populate your worst reviews right at the top. Of course, most people know no one is perfect. But if the same comments are left over and over again, or if there’s a string of bad reviews in a small window of time without a response it doesn’t send a good message. Your reviews - positive and negative - are giving an impression of your business even before someone has interacted with you or any of your employees.

Address negative reviews to keep your reputation in good shape

Sometimes it can be tempting to ignore something difficult. But with negative reviews it’s best to address the problem head-on. Over time, lower ratings will drop your overall score and without addressing the complaints tied to poor ratings, you’re losing out on your best way to defend your business. Not only does responding allow you to defend yourself and your employees, it also allows you the chance to learn and grow from the less than ideal experiences past customers have had.

A thoughtful, considerate response could be the exact thing that will get a customer to give you a second chance. While most sites do not allow businesses to delete ratings to preserve integrity, they do allow businesses to respond or for customers to update what they’ve previously written. Take advantage of both these elements when monitoring your reputation.

Someone may have had a bad experience, but from it you can gain useful information to better train your staff or make the overall customer experience. Respond to the complaint, and genuinely take the feedback into consideration. Potential customers will see this and feel assured you’ve taken steps to avoid repeats of whatever the problem was. It also creates that opportunity for an unimpressed customer to give you a critical second chance. If they have a better experience the second time and they see you’ve addressed their concerns they can go back and update their review into a positive one.

Take your negative reviews and turn them into a chance for dialog with your customers, showing them and potential ones you are responsive and genuinely care. It doesn’t take much time or effort to craft responses but the effort will have a big impact on your overall reputation.

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