The odds of never receiving a negative business or product review are low. After all, there is always someone that would find something wrong even if you handed them a free diamond ring.
But it is imperative that you put in the effort to avoid negative business reviews that can damage your reputation, while still keeping your brand in front of the masses.
As experts in brand awareness, we thought it would be beneficial to provide you with tips and strategies to avoid negative business reviews. These will help you properly deal with any negative reviews your business receives.
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Having A Venting System
No matter if you have a “brick and mortar” storefront or an online business, you should have a simple process in which customers can voice their frustrations.
It can be as simple as comment cards or a survey opportunity, by giving customers a method to vent directly to you will lessen the odds of that consumer leaving a bad review online.
Do ensure that you have some type of method of “mending” any problems that you receive through that venting process.
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Dominating Search Results
The odds of not receiving negative reviews are slim to none. What is damaging is if negative reviews about your business show up on the first page of search engine results when someone types your business name in the search bar.
You want to dominate the first page with positive reviews and the way you do so is by:
Optimizing your website for SEO. Have meta tags, a description and make sure it is mobile friendly.
Be a local hero. This means speaking at local events, getting involved with local trade shows, and volunteering for community service projects. When your biography showing you as CEO of that business hits the media coverage, that will show in search results ahead of any negative reviews.
Join professional directories. Find various online directories that are geared toward your business niche and join. Again, these will normally include your biography and will set higher in search results.
Create business social pages. It just makes good business sense that you have a business Facebook page, Twitter page and various others such as Pinterest and LinkedIn. Social profiles like these will show high in search results.
Create various media. Developing videos, infographics and various images will show high in search results if listed under your brand or business name.
Regularly monitor the search engine results to see what pops up when your business name and/or brand is typed in.
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Developing A Standard Operating Procedure
It is so important that every business has a standard operating procedure (SOP), and all employees are trained in it. You want to ensure customers are treated correctly and the same way no matter when, where, why or how they contact you.
Let’s just say that consistency is a key to customer satisfaction. If you are using consistent procedures, if there are customer complaints, it will be easier to determine where changes need to be made. If no SOP is used, it can be quite difficult to determine the root of the problem.
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Asking For Feedback
In a similar fashion to having a venting system, we suggest you use an area on the homepage of your website and on your social media business pages that says Tell Us How We Are Doing and provide a method such as a form that will allow the person to send you their opinions and suggestions.
When consumers see that you are willing to provide that opportunity, they will be less likely to give reviews at other places, but be sure and respond to their feedback quickly.
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Using Brand Mention Tools
There are various online tools you can use to monitor your brand. When someone mentions your business or brand, you will know it and can participate in the discussion. Some tools that work for this are:
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Training Your Employees In All Facets Of Customer Service
There are many areas that should be covered with employees in regards to customer service and relations.
What does the customer encounter when they come into your store? Is there unbearable music, employees talking, or are customers greeted and told if they need help to ask?
How do employees answer the telephone? Is it professional?
How is the customer treated after purchasing?
And most importantly if a customer is upset, how does the employee handle the situation?
Make sure that employees immediately apologize and ask the customer to elaborate on the situation either writing it themselves or by having the employee take down a written account. The employee should then tell the customer they will ensure the owner sees this and get the customer’s contact information.
The customer should leave knowing that the problem will be taken care of.
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Spotlighting Positive Testimonials
When you spotlight positive testimonials from current or former customers, you can minimize the negative reviews. Especially when these testimonials are coming from local influencers.
Shine a light on the great reviews and you will avoid a negative online image.
But, What If You Do Receive A Negative Review?
Can a business truly avoid negative business reviews?
The fact is, the large online selling medium called Amazon actually expects that sellers will receive a certain percentage of negative reviews. And, the odds are low if you have owned a business for a year or more of not receiving at least one negative review.
Does this mean that one negative business review is acceptable?
No is the definitive answer to that question. You should go to all means to mend that problem and turn that negative review into a positive.
So, a negative review is not the end of the world, because it can show you areas that need improvement.
And believe it or not, a negative review can actually be beneficial. Some consumers could believe reviews are manufactured if they are all 5 star positives. And allowing those consumers to see one negative review will show them you are willing to “own” your mistakes. The key is how you respond.
We are going to provide you with tips and suggestions if you do receive a negative review. If you use these tips and suggestions, you WILL discover that negatives can be turned into positives.
Handle A Negative Business Review By Responding Quickly
A high percentage of consumers understand that mistakes happen. By responding and “owning” the mistake promptly, you show that customer you do care about them.
Apologizing is the first thing that should be done and there is the possibility the consumer may “vent” their frustrations at that point. It is not a time to get defensive, it is the time to listen closely. Normally, the venting process will tell you how to solve the problem.
It may be a simple fix such as the consumer did not follow the directions. Do not put the blame on the customer; the best way to handle that is to just say “I guess we didn’t make the directions understandable. We will get that fixed.”
You then proceed to explain how to work the item.
Or you may need to offer a refund or replacement.
Just remember that even if you lose money from the situation, you will gain trust and there is a good chance the consumer will change that negative review to a positive review.
Handle A Negative Business Review By Making It Disappear
There are cases where negative reviews (online normally) go far beyond a review and turn into a hateful and unfair message.
There have been times where employees or friends of competitors will post such reviews to damage your business. Or maybe it is a person who dislikes you or one of your employees.
If a negative business review contains offensive, harassing or racist slurs, there is a good chance that review is violating the terms and conditions of the review site. By contacting the site with this information and a screenshot, if it violates terms, it will normally be deleted.
Keep in mind that there are laws against damaging a business’ reputation by posting reviews that are misleading or downright meant to harm them.
There are also strict laws against competitors using people to attack via reviews. If you can prove that is the case, you have a strong case that your attorney should be able to battle.
Share All Reviews With Staff
It is ultra-important that you share reviews with all employees, both positive and negative.
By giving employees this information, they will have the sense of ownership because they will know that reviews are also a direct reflection on their abilities.
We would even suggest that you use any negative review as a moment to brainstorm on how to mend the issue so that it never happens again.
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Asking For Reviews
Some business owners will say, “no review is a good review.” We would have to say that business mindset is incorrect.
As stated earlier, a bad review can help you make changes that will lead to bigger and better.
When you receive no review, you are in “limbo.” Was the customer happy? Will they purchase again? What are they telling their friends and family?
Instead of worrying that you may get a negative review, realize that all reviews are helpful.
Ask your customers for reviews. Ask them to share their experience. By doing so, your customers will know that you do want to give them the best consumer experience possible and are asking for their input to make that possible.
Avoid Negative Business Reviews By Monitoring Your Online Presence
While a negative review can damage your small or large business, the true damage comes in not responding to any, and all reviews.
But if you don’t know there is a review out on the worldwide web somewhere, how can you respond?
There are a variety of tools that can help you monitor your online presence and when your business is mentioned.
If you follow the tips and strategies we provided in today’s post, you will be able to avoid negative business reviews and keep your brand in good graces with the masses.
We also have another system that works amazingly well to discover what consumers want before they provide reviews. Because if you are solving a problem the customer has, it would be quite difficult for he/she to leave a negative review.
We can help you set up polls so customers tell you first before they buy. Just check out how we use polls by clicking here.
We want to also leave you with an added valuable item; The Ultimate 10 Step Guide To Tripling Sales Using Facebook. Use this resource to show you how you can turn your Facebook business page into a virtual cash register.
Remember… All customer reviews are positive reviews if you have the proper business mindset. Because, even if they seem negative, they are creating positive change to help you keep your products and services shining brightly.
Thank you for visiting today.
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