Every small business has been there – one of your customers leaves a bad online review. No small business leader wants one, but these bad reviews are a great opportunity for you to reflect on your business model. Remember that these situations will inevitably occur and you have to be able to not let it affect you too much emotionally. The success of your small business is directly correlated with how you respond to stress and negativity. Remember to follow these steps in aiding you to handle a bad online review:
1. Evaluate the Motivation
The first step you should do is consider why the customer is writing a bad online review. Did your small business treat the customer poorly with bad customer service or with a faulty product? These mistakes are easy to fix and it is important that you isolate them right away. If a certain employee is rubbing customers the wrong way, be sure to talk to him about improving his behavior. On the other hand, the customer might have a more personal reason for writing a negative review. Maybe he has a friend that owns a business directly competing against your small business. If this is the case, do not let this negative review mislead you to make unnecessary changes. Be sure to understand exactly why the negative is being written.
2. Reach out to Reviewer
If you have made a mistake, you should always attempt to fix the situation. People who leave negative online reviews want to be heard and understood. If you can alleviate their concerns and right any wrongs, you might be able to convert an unsatisfied reviewer into a loyal customer. At the same time, reaching out to the reviewer allows you to more fully understand the mistakes you made. Online reviews are not nearly as comprehensive as speaking to a customer on the phone and asking follow-up questions.
3. Contact Review Site
Sometimes negative reviews are purely defamatory with no constructive criticism. They make your small business appear to be unpopular without justifying with any good reasons. These people often have ulterior motives for posting negative reviews. What you can do is contact the site that hosts online reviews to have these posts removed. It is not uncommon for competitors in your industry to trash your small business in hopes of getting ahead. Be wary of such dirty tactics and understand that unworthy reviews can be removed.
4. Learn from Mistakes
What is potentially the most important response for you is to learn from mistakes. The path to success is one of continuously learning from and correcting mistakes. Do not disregard every negative review as blasphemy, but attempt to see what you can learn from the reviewer. Try your best to be unbiased in order to improve your small business.
These tips should help you handle the majority of your negative online reviews. If you need further advice, be sure to visit biz2credit.com and speak to an agent today.