When Google Reviews Say You Suck
As a business owner, it is frustrating to hire copywriters, invest in advertising and get advice from brand consultants that only results in a poor Google score. Despite your efforts toward market research, pay-per-click ads and search engine optimization, your company continues to elude greatness due to a single factor: it keeps getting bad online reviews.
There is no avoiding it. You have to acknowledge that there is a real problem. This is because 88 percent of consumers see online reviews as being the same as a recommendation from a friend or family member. The following steps will help you to get your business reputation back on track.
Be Honest with Yourself
When your company receives a negative review regarding the services and products you offer or the method of their delivery, it can be painful. While many business owners might ignore such feedback, it is not a good idea in the long run because it tends to reinforce the negativity.
It is possible that the person may have experienced a rare event or your employee was not in a good mood at the time. After all, the customer does not know how about the long hours that you and your workers put in to provide your services and products. It is also possible that customer has a justifiable complaint.
You should also consider that some reviews are not genuine. Much like the fake news that filters through the media each day, fake reviews are a large industry that makes a great deal of money.
Regardless of the bad review’s cause, it hurts your business. Just one instance of poor feedback on the first page of search results can cause a 22 percent drop in traffic. Ignoring just one negative comment can eventually be disastrous for your company.
Once you understand the reason for the negativity, you can take the next step.
Bad reviews will not simply disappear. Whether the problem is real or the result of a misunderstanding, you need to respond as soon as possible. You will want to control the damage while rebuilding the service industry reputation management of your company. While it is best to be direct, you should still approach the situation with caution.
Here are five things you should do to rectify the issue:
- Acknowledge the negative review. If you are honest and present, it will show you are a business that cares.
- Address the issue personally. Do not use canned responses. Your other customers will notice how you handle the problem.
- Make a sincere apology. Show genuine concern and immediately follow up with action.
- Do not argue with the customers, even if they left negative feedback. This makes a bad impression, and it always backfires.
- Allow customers to complain privately to you or customer service. When people have a place to air their grievances directly, they are less likely to blast them online.
Doing these five things will immediately improve public relations and will start you down the path of rebuilding your business’s reputation.
Resolve Matters Privately
In some cases, taking a private phone call from an angry or disappointed customer is the best course of action. This can be quite challenging, and Disney offers the HEARD tips for conflict resolution:
- Hear your customer. People become frustrated when they feel the other party is not listening.
- Empathize with the person and the situation. Tell them you would feel exactly the same way if it had happened to you.
- Apologize as many times as necessary and mean it.
- Resolve the problem. If you do not know what to do, ask the customer what it will take to make things right.
- Diagnose the problem to ensure it never happens again. Do not blame yourself. Just fix your business processes and move forward.
Make It Easy to Submit Positive Reviews
It is no secret that many businesses have a large number of positive online reviews. This is because they make the process easy for their customers. This approach also has a positive effect on employees and improves company culture.
Your goal should be more positive reviews than negative ones. To accomplish this, stay engaged with your customer base. Listen closely, take action to remedy negative situations and encourage people to share positive feedback with their social circles.
Preventing Negative Reviews
There is no foolproof way to stop people from saying bad things. No matter how well you run your business and take action to help unhappy customers, there will always be a few who will still put you down. A realistic goal is to get more positive reviews than negative ones.
By listening to complaints, staying engaged and being dedicated to providing stellar customer service, you can rebuild your brand into rockstar status.
BrightPast is a new Google reputation manager that will help you promote the positive about your business.