Negative online reviews – the do’s and don’ts
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Unfortunately, negative online reviews are something that every business owner has to accept will happen.
No matter how good you are at what you do, there will always be someone who can find even the tiniest of faults. Don’t let it affect how you run your business.
The manager would respond and your client would resume their day with no damage done. Oh, how we miss those days.
Follow our list of do’s and don’ts and move on.Contact us now
Now, if you are even slightly off your game, you run the risk of Mr (or Mrs) Unhappy bypassing a civil conversation with you and taking their complaint straight to an online review site.
They will possibly hide behind a pseudonym and then systematically take your business down – and all because their chips weren’t as warm as they could have been. Not that they mentioned this at the time. No! Rather than speak to a human being, when they could have been served fresh chips, they would prefer to share their wrath with the World Wide Web.
It’s an issue with society – and we don’t have the answers to how we stop this destructive behaviour that can prove so costly to a business. But we do have a list of do’s and don’ts on how to deal with the world’s bottom feeders.
THE DO'S AND DON'TS
- DO act immediately
If Mr U had done the decent thing and spoken to you in person, you would have responded there and then. Ignoring him (or her) would have been extremely rude. Let’s leave that to them.
- DO be polite
You’re probably angry and no-one blames you for that, but you have to be the bigger person.
- DO be yourself
It might be tempting to hide behind your business, but you should respond to them as a real person. Make your response personal and not a copy and paste job.
- DO learn from it
He may not have done the right thing in taking his grievance online, but among all the vitriol, did he have a valid point? If he did, take action to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
- DO try to take it offline
Don’t have a public row. Provide them with contact details so if they want to pursue the issue, you can deal with it without the rest of the world having a front row seat.
- DO be positive
While you can acknowledge their complaint, try to introduce a better view of your business, perhaps highlighting the number of good reviews.#
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- DON’T ignore them
Other customers and clients will read the review and they won’t know if your lack of response is because you don’t care or that Mr U is right in his criticism. Ignoring the review will also give Mr U the feeling that he has won. He hasn’t.
- DON’T get drawn into an online spat
There are some people in the world who simply do not listen to reasoned explanations. They prefer to be consumed by their own sense of injustice. And they will keep banging that drum as long as you continue to let them. Have your say and walk away.
- DON’T get defensive
You love your business and you hate anyone who dares to find fault with it, but you will do much better if you respond in a professional manner, acknowledging their complaint and apologising that they feel that way.
LOOK TO THE FUTURE
Unfortunately, negative online reviews are something that every business owner has to accept will happen. No matter how good you are at what you do, there will always be someone who can find even the tiniest of faults. Don’t let it affect how you run your business. Follow our list of do’s and don’ts and move on.