Negative reviews – how to deal with bad online reviews
Everyone knows them – bad reviews on the Internet. A catastrophe for the entrepreneur, a pessimism for potential customers, to change the purchase decision at short notice.
Whether legitimate or unjustified, negative reviews hurt and can often be harmful. In general, online reviews have become increasingly important in recent years. Not only to decide to buy potential customers but also as an important ranking factor for Google and Co. and thus even an essential part of your local SEO.
However, this is not just about the fact that you have an unusually large number of good reviews, but also how regular new reviews come and how extensive they are.
What influence do negative ratings have on buying behaviour or buying decisions?
According to a by zendesk.com, according to their statement, almost 88% of Internet users can be influenced by online reviews. Positive as negative.
If one of your online reviews does not matter, I am pleased about an exchange of views in the comments below the post! 🙂
But no matter how good your company is, negative reviews come either way. You can find out how to deal with these in the following tips.
Tip # 1: Appoint a responsible person
The reviews must always be answered in the same style. Therefore, it is essential to have a “Review-Response Officer” in your company who takes care of negative and positive reviews. So you have an employee who is familiar with the ratings and keeps an overview of all grades. It also makes it easier to identify a negative trend or “fake” ratings.
Tip # 2: Answer negative reviews as soon as possible
Negative reviews have a significant impact on a potential customer’s buying decisions. You know it yourself: “2.5 stars only? No, I’m not going there, it can’t be a good thing. ” It is different from products or companies that have 3.5 stars, for example. Here you will probably click on the reviews and of course (everyone does it that way) first read through the negative reviews. If these reviews are very critical, and there is no adequate answer to them, you will surely reconsider your purchase decision. Therefore: Answer very negative reviews directly before too many customers can read these reviews.
Tip # 3: Prioritized!
Not every assessment has to be reacted to immediately. There is no need to directly respond to positive reviews or ¾-star reviews. Prioritized, but do not let time pass, especially with violent reviews.
Tip # 4: Communicate at eye level with your critics
Very important: tries to be sympathetic and honest in dialogue with the critic. Usually, you don’t write your answer to the criticism for the critic but for potential customers who read the negative review. Try to put the blame into perspective as clearly as possible and don’t be overbearing, arrogant or disinterested.
Tip # 5: act solution-oriented!
The best answers to negative reviews directly offer a solution and thus relativize (perhaps even severe and justified) criticism. Potential new customers read the report and the “solution” and are at best convinced of it. The negative rating was thus “disabled”:
Tip # 6: Offers opportunities for direct contact
Turning dissatisfied customers into satisfied customers is an art in itself. But especially customers who leave a negative review give you (maybe even unwanted) the opportunity to win them back. Offers them the opportunity to contact you directly. Suggestions like: “Please come back to us in the shop, we would like to apologize personally for our mistake with a little attention.” can in many cases solve the problem and delete the negative rating.
Offering support etc. can also help in some cases.
Tip # 7: Try to respond to every review!
Google likes a living profile and interaction with customers. Therefore, make sure that you answer each review individually. Positive reviews should also be explained. Aside from what Google thinks about it, this is one of the first steps to turn a satisfied customer into a “fan”. And a fan ”is the highest thing that can become a customer and the best thing that can happen to you !!!!
Tip # 8: Answer casually and with humour!
Of course, this tip does not work for every rating and in every industry. Reviews that have a severe background and describe a real problem should always be taken 100% seriously.
But especially nowadays there are more and more trolls out there who want to provoke!
Here you can, of course, like to react with wit and charm. Skillfully ironic is well received by many customers and makes them likeable. As I said: does not work in every branch!
Tip # 9: Be active on many portals!
You don’t only get reviews on Google. There are many industry-specific rating portals that Google has now included in Google My Business Profile. Therefore, make sure that you respond to the answers on all relevant review portals. But especially with smaller portals, you do not have to react to every definite answer, but rather focus there on seriously negative reviews that could damage your reputation.
Tip # 10: Use a lawyer only in an emergency
Many customers come to us with the statement: “The rating here is negative, and we would like to have it deleted. Can you do that please? ” But that’s precisely the wrong approach. First, we have to differentiate between negative reviews and fake negative reviews.
If you are sure that a negative rating is not based on any basis and appears to be a fake rating from a competitor, it may be worthwhile to go to the lawyer. In this case, too, a differentiation has to be made. Perhaps this is a more ironic answer? Do you possibly expose the competitor with a smart solution?
If you are not sure whether the negative rating is real or fake, then you should wait until you get to the lawyer. If an angry customer notices that you have deleted their score, it can very quickly lead to a shit storm and new negative ratings. So try to be honest and open so as not to upset customers even more.
Sure, negative reviews are never helpful, but with the right strategy, you can also profit from negative reviews. Try to meet your angry customers on an equal footing, be open, personable and courteous. Always offers a solution and thus also shows potential new customers that the negative evaluation is a one-off case.
Also, do not keep your customers waiting and respond promptly to critical reviews.
And: don’t forget your loyal customers! Loyal customers are the best customers!