In a post here on Economag, we took a look at how you can build the reputation of your business. In this piece, we are going to take a look at some of the things you can do to salvage the situation if your business has received lots of bad reviews online.
Review and track all the negative comments
If you are serious about the reputation of your business, you will not ignore the negative things being said about it. Failing to keep track of the negatives mean you won’t be able to implement changes that will help you to stop losing business.
Are the complaints about lengthy site load times? Review your hosting to be sure you are using the best web hosting plan for your type of business.
Are the complaints about poor customer service? Consider retraining staff or employing more staff!
The bottom line is to always know what is being said and take steps to address the problems. Here is a chilling stat: 70% of UK consumers will not do business with you if they see any negative comments about your business! You can’t afford to ignore the negative comments.
Apologize when in the wrong
When you find a complaint about your company, the best thing to do is to apologize. Make out time to talk to the individual affected on the phone. If you cannot contact them on phone, send an email, or post a follow-up comment under the complaint, especially when it is filed in an open forum. Be mindful of what you say at this time though as it can be easily misinterpreted. Here is a good article on better communication.
Make the facts of the matter available
In some cases, negative comments about your business may be as a result of an inability of the individual to understand your business policies. Clearly establishing these facts in response is a good way of nullifying the effect of the negative review. For instance, imagine an online casino that clearly states in its terms and conditions that cash bonuses will only be given to one person from on IP address. Now an individual signs up, gets the bonus but goes ahead to create accounts for his friends. This will lead to the seizing of his own accounts with whatever money left in it and he will go on forums to lament the “negative treatment”. A reply from the Online Casino will set things straight and ensure they don’t lose any potential customers because of that review.
Solicit for feedback from customers
This is a great way of getting customers to complain to you first of any grievances before they head off to review boards and social media all over the web. From the feedback, you will be able to pick things that will help you improve the reputation of your business and also prevent negative reviews from hitting the search engines.
Ask for positive reviews
This is not soliciting for paid over the top reviews of your business. It is rather asking your customers who were impressed by your business to leave honest reviews on a dedicated section of your website, or on featured third party review sites. Many customers won’t remember to leave positive reviews but they won’t hesitate to let you know if they aren’t happy about anything (it’s human nature), so you have to ask nicely for the positive reviews. Offer incentives if you can! When there are lots of positive reviews in the search engines, and few negatives, the reputation of your business will be good and your business will grow. It does take strategy, planning, and to work the plan though.