How to Effectively Manage Negative Reviews

A bad review is something that strikes fear into the hearts of business owners everywhere. A one or two star review dragging down your business rating can be as painful as a physical blow, but it doesn’t have to be. With proper management, negative reviews can actually help your business.

Negative reviews have been well studied by business scientists. A Harvard review found that if a restaurant had an average rating of 2.5 stars or below, it was 25% more likely to close. Those with 4.5 stars or above had a 0% increase in its chances. That’s huge.

Harris Interactive also looked at negative reviews, but this time they looked at what happened when businesses responded to reviews, both positive and negative. They found that when businesses responded to their negative reviews, their overall ratings went up about half a star.

If you have negative reviews, or are simply dreading the possibility, here is how you can transform those reviews into a positive experience for both you and your customers.

Respond Quickly to Negative Reviews

Most of the time when your customers post a negative review on social media or reviewing website, it’s because they don’t feel like they are being listened to. By responding quickly, you can show that you are listening. If they have a real complaint, you can make it right as fast as possible. If the complainant  is simply being petty, responding gently and kindly can show other customers that you are willing to help no matter what the cause.

Look at the Review Objectively

When customers sound off in a bitter way, it can be hard not to respond in anger. Sometimes the way people write responses can get under the skin of even the most reasonable people. If you respond in kind, not only will you certainly lose that customer, but also those who see your reaction.

When you read what they have to say, set aside your own personal feelings and try to see things from their point of view. Most of the time you can probably see what happened and help pave the way for a quality response. Other times you may realize that you’re simply dealing with a troll. If the person responding to you is only out to cause drama, skip that one and move on. Responding will only cause more drama.

Don’t Delete

Even when people are simply creating drama, don’t delete their reviews. Attempting to sweep problems under the rug can anger customers and cause even more terrible reviews to fall back on you. It’s better to deal with negative reviews honestly than to try and cover them up.

Taking care of negative reviews doesn’t have to hurt your business. By taking care of your customers and trying to make things right, you can turn those negative reviews into a positive impact for your business. Negative reviews are inevitable, but how you handle them can shape your company’s future.

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