Negative reviews can affect any business’s online reputation and ultimately its bottom line. Here are a few ways your business can avoid negative reviews.
Negative reviews have always been a concern of business owners. In the past, word of mouth was perhaps the most widespread way to talk about a business, but in today’s world online reviews are king. Online reviews have a way of reaching a larger audience much more quickly, especially as online reviews begin to shape our opinions and buying habits more heavily.
While good reviews are blessings, negative reviews can be a thorn in a business’s side for a very long time. Part of this is because many people focus on negative reviews more than positive ones. More importantly, however, is that negative reviews stick around. Most sites which feature reviews — whether Yelp, Google, or Facebook — make it very difficult to remove reviews of any kind. This is of course by design and helps “keep businesses honest.” It also means there’s no way to get rid of reviews that are simply untrue or that come from obvious haters or gushing fans.
For these reasons, it’s a good idea for businesses of all sizes to keep their online reputation positive and mitigate the problems of negative reviews. Let’s take a look at some ways this can be accomplished.
Head Off Potential Problems
A business’s staff should be responsive to customer needs well before online reviews appear. If a customer has an issue, this should be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. WIth good communication you can preempt negative reviews before they appear online. Customers usually begin airing dirty laundry only after they feel they’ve have exhausted all other available avenues.
Build a Positive Online Presence
Speaking of communication, it’s a good idea to keep your online presence active and positive. Give customers as much information as you can about your business. Hard facts are one of the best ways to shine a light on inaccuracies in some negative reviews. Keep all content as engaging as possible. For instance, you could post “behind the scenes” images and videos. Being as open and transparent as you can builds customer trust. It also makes customers feel invested in your business, as if they’re part of the team.
Respond Privately First
When the inevitable negative reviews appear, try to resolve the situation privately first. Direct messages will let you resolve the conflict without an open back and forth online. These can quickly get heated on one or both sides and only increase the damage the negative reviews generate. This is especially true if the customer is one of those rare few that can never be satisfied!
No matter the customer’s demeanor, avoid trying to persuade her or him to stop complaining or retract previous statements. Instead focus on fixing the problem. This will probably stop the customer’s negative reviews and may even lead to a positive one in return.
Monitor What’s Being Said About You
Be proactive in looking for what users all over the Internet are saying about your business. If you’re being mentioned in tweets, posts, comments, or reviews anywhere out there, you should know about it. You might also want to keep an eye on what people are saying about competitors. This will help you get ideas and avoid any pitfalls they find themselves in. There are many ways you can monitor all of these mentions, depending on the resources you have available.
TrueITPros specializes in setting up and maintaining a positive online presence for your company. We can help with all your business’s IT service, website design, and Internet marketing needs. Please visit our website or give us a call at 678-534-8776 to learn more.