“How do we get more positive reviews?”
“What do we do if we get negative reviews?”
These are questions that companies have wondered about more or less since online reviews began (and even before that).
Like just about everything else, there’s no “set in stone” answer.
That said, there are some things to keep in mind that, should you follow them, will almost never steer you wrong.
“Online reputation management” is part of our website SEO service (among others).
It can be a little maddening dealing with reviews because, after all, you aren’t in complete control. But, if you keep these ideas in mind, you’ll always have a chance to make it work out best for you, your company, and your customers/clients.
“It’s Not Personal – It’s Strictly Business”
That immortal line from “The Godfather,” (an all-time epic about a mafia family in New York in the wake of World War II) may seem like an odd thing to bring up in an article about how to respond to reviews online.
However, it’s absolutely the mindset you need to have when you look at negative reviews.
Don’t take it personally.
Don’t be insulted.
You can’t. It’s just the business, it’s not you.
Now, that’s easy for me to say from the “other side of the keyboard,” so to speak. I’m not the one staring down the barrel of a negative review.
But, if you take it personally, if you lash out, if you’re offended, insulted, or even defensive, that won’t help.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should be precluded from feeling those things. Of course you can feel them.
But, don’t let them influence how you respond.
That won’t help your customers/clients, the company, or you.
Explain, if at all possible, what you’re doing to solve their problem or fix their concern.
Now, everything in this section is true so long as it’s an actual complaint.
Actual derogatory or out-of-line comments do not have to be dealt with in this fashion.
If it’s an actual complaint about something that you or your business has done, tell them what you’re doing to fix it, and see if you can find a way to resolve the issue offline or through private messages.
Hopefully, the other party will appreciate the concern (and you won’t have to deal with a back and forth in front of the rest of the internet).
A Little “Thank You” Can Go a Long Way
The unfortunate truth is that folks are often more likely to post negative reviews than they are positive ones.
I could show you studies that say that, but it’s easier just to think back to the times when you’re mad. When you’re upset about a service or product, aren’t you more likely to complain about it to someone than you are to tell folks about when something worked in an exemplary fashion?
So, if you want to get positive reviews, there’s nothing wrong with a little positive reinforcement.
Offering discounts for those who leave reviews, holding a lottery/raffle for those who do, is “all fair in the game,” so to speak.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to always thank someone after leaving a review.
In fact, it’s good to thank them after every step of the process.
Someone leaves a review – thank them. A person leaves a negative review, you reach out to them to fix their issue, the two of you talk privately – thank them after that.
Asking for feedback after every step of the process can help in multiple ways.
It makes people feel more appreciated, for one. For another, it can genuinely help your business, too.
Be dispassionate about the complaint, but passionate about how you fix it.
That’s a good rule to follow.
For more ways to help your company, you can reach us at (888) 477-9540.