When your Online Reputation Suffers

Every minute, businesses are being shaped by consumers who are exchanging dialogue and sharing reviews about them online. And since 97% of consumers find local business info on the web, you need a way to see what your customers are saying and a platform to join the conversation.

You may never have predicted you would be searching through the Internet to learn how to fix bad online reviews. Yet, inevitably it happens. It’s important that you recognize problems and take action. Because 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, you need to make sure that your company’s online reputation is as positive as possible.

While it takes work to maintain a positive online reputation, the good news is that you can fix bad online reviews in four easy steps:

  1. Deal with reality: is there a problem?
  2. Don’t hesitate, take action.
  3. Take care of issues offline.
  4. Make it easy for customers to love you.

1. Is there a problem?

When a customer negatively reviews your business, it can hurt. However, many business owners instinctively brush these negative reviews off.  Of course, not every review is entirely accurate, nor even coherent. Just like fake news, fake reviews are an enormous industry.

Taking these overly critical reviews with a grain of salt doesn’t mean that you can afford to ignore them. Whether a real issue, a comment from a jaded individual, or something that is outright slanderous, negative reviews severely impact your business; a single, first-page negative search result can result in a 22% decrease in your bottom line.

When you get burned by negative online reviews, you need to act immediately. Is the complaint valid? After you analyze what is going on, it is time to take appropriate action, which brings us to step number two.

2. Don’t hesitate, take action

Bad customer reviews aren’t going to go away on their own. Whether you are addressing a legitimate concern or something that appears shady, you must always respond to bad customer service reviews.

Your goal is damage control and ideally re-building your reputation. Still, you will want to approach your negative reviewer cautiously.

Remember: be genuine in your response, keep your cool, and move the conversation towards private conflict resolution if you can.

3. Take care of issues offline

There is no use ignoring a bad online review. At the same time, instead of going in with the intent to remove a bad review, you can leverage it for the good of your business.

While in many instances these vocal critics can be won over with compassion, a public forum is often not the place for conflict resolution. Rather than engaging in a discussion for all to see, try to encourage your upset customer to participate in a private call or platform, such as Facebook messenger.

If you handle the situation well, you may earn a rare and extremely difficult reward. Treat your passionate critic properly and address their concern, and they may just remove that bad review entirely.

4. Make it easy for happy customers to love you

Want potential customers to see just how many fans you have? It’s not a coincidence that some companies have hundreds or thousands of positive online reviews.

Companies with tons of positive online reviews all share one thing in common: they make it easy for customers to leave positive reviews.

Building up the number of online reviews you have brings other benefits as well, such as backlinks for SEO purposes. However, you can’t rely on folks to go out and enhance your brand’s reputation on their own initiative. By simply asking your customers for feedback, following up to ensure a positive buying experience, and by providing incentives for online reviews, you can significantly increase the number of five-star reviews for your business.

Prevent bad online reviews.

As we all know, the first step to fixing a problem is to acknowledge that you have one.

Don’t keep wringing your hands about bad customer reviews, but instead take time to review each complaint. Make sure to address your critics. Listen to their issues, and do your best to solve their problems.

Rebuilding your businesses reputation after negative online reviews is no easy feat, but the return on investment is exceptionally high.

Ready to see what people are saying about your business?

Download your FREE Snapshot Report to see the state of your online presence. In this report, you’ll see listing presence and accuracy, reviews about your business, social media presence, website performance, advertising performance, and industry benchmarks.