You’ve worked hard to build your business and provide quality services. After all of the time and energy you’ve put into your business, it can be heartbreaking to see your business’ reputation under attack from online reviews. As our Director of Operations, Theo St. Mane, explains in our latest Theo Talk video, too many good businesses are marred by just a few negative reviews.
But how can just a few bad reviews have such a devastating impact? Imagine the last time you paid for a good or service and had a good experience. Did you feel compelled to write a positive review about it? Now imagine the last time you had a negative experience. You were probably more compelled to share the story. There is a psychological reason for this. Positive and negative experiences are processed differently in the brain. Negative experiences take more processing power, causing us to ruminate on them. This makes it more likely for consumers to share their negative experiences on review sites.
What Should You Do With Bad Reviews?
No matter how well your business operates, bad reviews happen, which is why it’s important to have a plan for how to handle them. First, deleting isn’t the answer. Most review sites such as Yelp and Google Business won’t allow businesses to delete reviews unless they can prove the review is false or attempting to inflict undue damages. If they did, these sites would lose all credibility. But if you can’t delete a bad review, what can you do?
- Research the complaint– Who is the customer? Is their complaint valid? What were the circumstances surrounding their experience? This is information that will be helpful for understanding the complaint and how to respond.
- Respond to the complaint– Sharing your side if the story can help repair your relationship with the dissatisfied customer and improve your image with potential customers reading the review. In responding make sure you sound reasonable and professional. The quality of your response can completely neutralize a negative review in the eyes of other consumers.
How to Receive Positive Reviews
If consumers are more likely to share negative reviews, how do you get consumers to share positive experiences about your business?
- Make it easy – Include links to your business’ review profiles on your website, social media, emails, and newsletters. Customers aren’t going to spend time looking for your business on these sites, but if you make it easy for them they may take a few moments to leave a positive review.
- Give incentives– Customers are more likely to leave reviews if they have some incentive. It is important, however, that you are not seen as paying for reviews or paying for good reviews. Monthly giveaways and other chances to win prizes are proven strategies for encouraging reviews.
- Ask– It seems so obvious, but many businesses fail to ask their customers to write reviews. Make it part of your daily work practice for you and your employees to solicit reviews from customers.
Your business’ reputation is invaluable so make sure you protect it. To find out how MLT Group can help your business with its online reputation and SEO, contact one of our professionals at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507.281.3490. Also, watch our latest Theo Talk video about managing your business’ online reputation here.