Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dealing with Negative Reviews about Your Business

How to Handle Bad Feedback from Online Reviewers

small business, legitimate home business
The internet has given consumers an opportunity to express their feelings about a business’s service, whether it is good or bad. Webpages such as Yelp, Google Reviews and Angie’s List are open forums for customers to tell the world about their experiences with any given organization. While positive reviews are great for attracting new business, negative reviews can be equally damaging to a business’s reputation and profits. While there is no way to prevent bad reviews from making it online, there are some ways that small business owners can offset and even learn from negative customer reviews.

Review Your Customers Reviews Regularly

Business owners need to know how their customers feel about the business. While a customer may seem happy when they speak with you in person, they could be masking a negative experience. Statistics show that the majority of people will not voice their complaints directly to a business, but will go home and write about their experience in an online forum. Because of this, make sure to check what customers are saying online on a regular basis. While this should not become an obsessive behavior, it is important to remember that a customer’s experience is important to the business overall.

Keep an Eye Out for Negative Reviews from Competitors

Many online review sites do not allow businesses to post reviews about their competition – Yelp, for example, prohibits these types of posts on their website. Because of this, it is important to take notice and look out for competing business owners who may be adding negative reviews to bring down the business’s overall rating. If you spot suspicious activity, make sure to contact the review website and request that they investigate or take down the post. More often than not, if it can be proven that a competitor posted the negative review, the website will quickly remove it from public view.

Respond to both Negative and Positive Customer Reviews

For a consumer, it is important for them to know that a business owner is actively engaged with their business and customers. An easy way to build a rapport with consumers is by joining into the conversation on business review sites. When you come across a negative review complaining about customer service or a particular product, respond to the comments by apologizing for the customer’s inconvenience and offering to reach out to the customer to find a solution form them. While it is important to respond to negative reviews, it is also key to respond to the positive reviews. When a consumer writes something great about your business, make sure to thank them for the great feedback.

Learn and Grow

One of the most important things a business owner can do about negative reviews is learning from them. By truly taking customer’s input into consideration, an owner can help to grow their business in a positive direction and help to correct problems they may not even have known existed. If a consumer is upset with the level of customer service being offered, consider offering employees a training course on the subject. If there are issues with shipping and delivery times, look into other vendors to provide that service and help to elevate the consumers overall experience with your business.

How is your small business doing? If you need help improving your small business, give Stacy O'Quinn a call! Stacy has helped dozens of individuals create a legitimate home business to give them financial freedom. What is his secret to success? To find out, click here.

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