When running a business, you could be doing all the right things. Offering a valuable product or service, sharing your website content and social media, and making your website as user-friendly as possible. You may already have a dedicated team of customer service representatives standing by to keep the reputation of your business intact. Even so, there’s always a chance you will get a bad review somewhere.

People in the world are different and have their own opinions. You need to realize this reality so you can be better prepared to deal with negative reception with class and tact. How can you do this without destroying the reputation of your business online? Our digital marketing experts at Viridian Geeks will give you some winning advice to make dissatisfied customers happier and to keep your brand’s reputation in good standing. It’s best to nip these problems in the bud now before you have a PR nightmare on your hands.

How Negative Reviews Affect Your Digital Marketing, Social Media and SEO

One big reason why you want to address negative reviews as quick as possible is because they can have a powerful effect on your brand and its SEO. If a business has many negative reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook, it’s going to a message to prospective clients and customers that your business is not to be trusted. Moreover, less people are going to want to click on your website and will instead go find other businesses who will help them.

For these reasons, you want to develop a quick, mature response plan to negative reviews. This applies to keeping your social media and digital marketing accounts in the clear from abusive comments, which also have a similar effect on the reputation of your business if they aren’t taken care of quickly enough.

Why Do People Care So Much About Reviews?

People are creatures of habit and consensus. They aren’t going to trust a business on face value. When finding businesses to buy products from, the first thing most people do is go on websites like Amazon and Yelp and find what other people have shared about their experiences. From there, people can come to their own conclusions and decide to take action.

In digital marketing, we call this “social proof.” Social proof is especially helpful for businesses just getting off the ground and who need more buzz and more customers. Positive reviews can establish your credibility as a trustworthy vendor, while many negative reviews will have the opposite effect.

Can I Delete Negative Reviews?

In many cases, you can’t. From our direct experience, it’s impossible to have one-star reviews deleted from Facebook accounts. Even if you could delete negative reviews, it’s much better to leave helpful responses even to the naysayers. Check out how this company responds to negative reviews online. This company has a support team which treats every customer with the utmost understanding and empathy.
This response is a clear example of how you should respond to a negative review online.

amazon negative review response

As you can see, this company responds with an apology and acknowledges the problems and pain points the customer is having. Then, they leave a customer support email to gain more insights on why the customer is having a problem with the product.

This is the formula you need to adopt when dealing with negative reviews online. Follow these basic steps every time you see a negative review on any of your social media accounts.

1. Acknowledge the customer’s problem and pain points in your response.
2. Ask the customer why their experience didn’t measure up to your standards.
3. Ask what you can do to help make the customer’s experience better.
4. Leave contact details like a support email at the end of your message.

Some negative reviews may require more time and steps to address, so these basic steps may not be applicable in every situation. You may need to escalate the problem to others in your organization who will ultimately decide what needs to be done to make the customer happy.

Take Your Efforts One Step Further

Often, an apology won’t be enough to make a customer feel better. You must go the extra mile and really show that you’re there to help them. By offering a complementary discount or any other offer to the dissatisfied customer, you may not completely change their mind about your business, but at least you did everything in your power to persuade them to give your business another chance.

After you’ve gone through these mitigation steps, make sure you’re following up on the situation. Check for other responses from the customer as well as any comments from others who jumped into the conversation. Reassure them that you’ve taken care of the problem and that you’re willing to do what it takes to provide the most satisfying customer service experience.

Conclusion

Negative reviews are inevitable, even with the most successful online businesses. While you can’t always prevent them, having an appropriate standard operating procedure in place to address the needs and concerns of unhappy customers and past clients will be crucial in keeping the reputation of your business in good standing. Not addressing a negative review will damage your reputation and drastically lower click-through-rates on ads and anywhere else you’re spreading word about your business.

If you need help improving your public relations and brand reputation online, contact our Atlanta SEO and SEM experts at (470) 440-3434 or email [email protected] for more information. They will also throw in a free consultation on your website and give you free advice on what you should do to optimize your site to generate more sales and leads.