Online review sites can be scary for small business owners, especially when you are first starting to build your online community. We all love a good review, but let’s face it—online reviews can sometimes skew toward the negative.
And more and more potential customers are reading online reviews before making a purchase. According to a 2014 About Local Consumer Review Survey, 88 percent of people have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. That is incredible!
July is do-it-yourself marketing month, and GetAssist is here to help! If you are left wondering how to handle negative reviews, here are six ways to take back control and turn them into positive marketing opportunities.
1. Claim your company’s page on all major online review sites
By doing this, you can post photos of your store, list your hours of operation, update your company description and even post info about current promotions.
2. Don’t waste time trying to get the review removed from the site
More often than not, a review site will not remove a negative review. A few exceptions to this are negative reviews posted by competitors, which most review sites will remove if you can prove it was a competitor who posted it.
3. Respond to negative reviews
Actually, you should respond to all reviews, but a response to negative reviews will take some thought to make sure you’re hitting the right tone. Be professional. It may make you cringe a little but thank them for their review. Address the problem if they’ve listed one. If it’s a serious mess-up on your part, offer to refund them or send them a gift card.
4. Don’t be afraid to correct misinformation
You’re probably thinking, But the customer is always right. However, misinformation can be seriously damaging to your business. If you have an ice cream stand that sells nut-free flavors and someone posts about the horrible peanut butter ice cream they bought, step in and gently let them know that your ice creams don’t contain nuts. They may not change their review but your response will be helpful for future customers who are skimming through the reviews on your site.
5. Invite your customers to post reviews.
A recent survey showed that 45% of consumers share bad customer experiences on social media while only 30% share positive experiences. Let your most valued customers know that your business runs on positive reviews and show them where and how they can post a review. Your online business persona is all about building community, so why not bring your real life evangelists into your online world?
And last but most importantly…
6. Don’t stress too much over negative reviews
Today’s consumers are pretty savvy and can spot a fake review or someone just blowing off steam.
Do you have a story about a bad review experience? Share it in the comments and help other small business owners just like yourself! You can also pre-register for GetAssist to connect with like-minded individuals when we launch!