Online reviews, dealing with the good and the bad

Getting online reviews from customers can be good for your business in plenty of ways - from boosting your SEO through to encouraging new customers to make a purchase.

It can be easy to get going with it too - with good solutions from Google, Reevoo, TrustPilot, Yelp, TripAdvisor and many many more. Just pick your platform and start encouraging customers to review you.

Once you've been brave and put your business in the public forum, it's highly likely you'll hit your first bad review - it happens to us all! So, what do you do? How do you deal with bad reviews? The first reaction is usually 'can I hide all the bad reviews?', but that's not always an option, or necessarily the best course of action. Here's what we'd recommend...

Always take the feedback on board

Be open to feedback. It might hurt at first, but there's often a nugget of truth in there. If something's not right in your business, or if there's a way to improve your brand - you need to know.

Don't lash back

Okay, sometimes people are unreasonable or just plain rude, but the customer is always right! Hold your tongue and be overly kind and gracious in your responses. If the complaint is unreasonable then hold your head high, make it right, and others will see how you deal with customers (both bad and good).

Google offer these useful best practices when it comes to responding to bad reviews...

  • Ignore minor complaints and resolve issues privately when possible.
  • Address issues constructively - don't use responses to advertise.
  • Do not ask users for anything or offer them anything.
  • Be professional and polite - the world can read your response.

Encourage good reviews too

If you do an awesome job and encourage reviews, then eventually you'll have so many good reviews that they'll drown out the bad ones! Remember to not just focus on the bad, but reply to good reviews too.

Abusive reviews

It can be a fine line, but if a reviewer is overly aggressive, uses bad language or other offensive content, you should report them. Every review platform will offer you the option to flag up such abuse, usually hiding the comments until they've been reviewed or deleted.

Turning Bad Reviews into Good Ones

So keep on encouraging reviews, thanking good reviewers, and being gracious to negative reviewers. Hopefully that's helped you plot your way through bad reviews, and maybe even turned some review tragedies into successes!

If you need further advice on dealing with negative reviews, feel free to get in touch.

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