Getting five-star reviews feels great for business owners. Getting a lackluster, or worse, a bad review stings. But what should you do about it?
Reviews are something that businesses nowadays need to pay attention to. Whether you’re getting good reviews, bad ones, or a mixture of the two it’s essential that you do your best to keep on top of it. Ignoring negative reviews could cause harm.
Review Management is Important for Businesses of All Sizes
Whether your company is a large conglomerate, or a one man or woman show, reviews can instill confidence in prospective customers. They can also cost you customers. Whether someone is researching your company specifically or looking at all their options for the product or service you sell, reviews help drive buying decisions.
Fake, inaccurate, or malicious reviews can cause significant damage. For this reason, it’s particularly important to ensure that you aren’t letting fake or inaccurate reviews harm your business. There are things you can do, in some cases to either get that fake review removed or to minimize the damage it can cause.
These could be linked to your company in error. If a review is obviously linked to the wrong company, it’s wise to address it and strive to get any links to your company removed.
This could be as a result of a grudge from a past employee or a competitor. If someone is spearheading a smear campaign, it’s important to try to stop it. You may have legal recourse.
Bad Reviews Due to Unhappy Customers
If there are unhappy customers with a valid reason to post a negative review, there’s not much you can do to get it removed, but there are things you can do to help customers overlook the occasional bad review.
Minimizing the Damage of a Bad Review
First and foremost, strive to change the bad reviewer’s mind. By offering to address the problem or apologizing, you can minimize the damage. Either the person may take down the bad review or the site that the review is on could show a trail of your efforts and the customer’s responses. Companies that strive to improve customer experience by addressing complaints will have other customers and prospects more apt to forgive a bad review.
Keeping an Eye Out for Reviews
It’s important to monitor your online reputation. Many review sites have a process that allows companies to claim their business so that there’s an opportunity to monitor what’s being said about them as well as respond to comments. Setting up alerts for review sites as well as alerts for your company name can help you keep your thumb on the pulse of your online reputation. Ways you can do this include:
- Subscribing to hashtags on Twitter and other social media sites can help you see reviews quickly after they’re published.
- Setting up a Google Alert for your business name so that you get emailed newly indexed page links that relate to that alert keyword phrase. This gives you an opportunity to see and address any reviews that pop up.
- Regularly search your company and / or brand name(s) on search engines to see what sorts of listings are coming up on the top 20-30 search engine results. Many consumers will dig past page one of the search engine results pages for research purposes while shopping for products or services.
Reviews that come across negatively should be handled with caution. Take the time to carefully craft responses so that you don’t fan any flames and / or make your brand name look even worse. Customers and prospects won’t just look at what the reviews say about you; they’ll also look at how you respond. Responding to reviews shows that you care about customer experience. Being professional and courteous shows customers you’re approachable.
Where possible, give the reviewer an avenue to take a discussion private with you. A phone number, email address, or link to a page for immediate assistance allows you to show that you are invested in customer satisfaction while enabling you to take discussions offline.
Dealing with Fake or Inaccurate Reviews
In some cases, you can report fake or inaccurate reviews to site owners to instigate an investigation. In other cases, there isn’t much you can do. If there’s a pattern of someone trying to harm your business, there could be legal recourse.
This infographic, Illegal Reviews: How To Spot Them And Actions To Take created by Elliot Legal Group, offers clear, useful inight and steps into how to spot illegal or fake reviews, and more importantly, what your business’ legal rights and options are:
If you are interested in professional help with reputation management, there are services that offer help so that you can tackle negative reviews, increase the chances of getting positive reviews, and so that you can make the most of leveraging online review sites to boost your reputation. Learn more about Rize Review’s online reputation management software today and how you can get 50 reviews in just 2 weeks.