As a business owner, you work hard to give your customers the best experience possible while still making a profit. Many of your customers appreciate your efforts and leave you five-star ratings on different reviewing platforms. But no matter what, it’s impossible to please everyone. You will inevitably receive a negative review at some point. How can you handle the situation while staying professional?
Online reviews are a part of any business. Learning how to respond professionally to negative reviews will go a long way toward improving your reputation and customer relations. Read more here. #ITVibes #reviews Click To Tweet
Monitoring Your Online Reputation
The first step is knowing where to find reviews of your business. While Facebook, Google, and Yelp remain the most popular websites to leave reviews, plenty of other platforms offer similar services. It’s up to you to find websites that feature reviews of your business and keep track of how your customers use these sites. Once you know where to find reviews, your plan should look like this:
- Develop relationships with your customers
- Request positive reviews from satisfied clients
- Respond professionally to negative reviews
1) Develop Relationships with Your Customers
You’re far more likely to remember a personal encounter than a chat with a faceless business. Your customers have a similar attitude. Consequently, it’s absolutely essential that you take the time to build relationships with your clients. Show yourself as an expert in your industry, but use your social media platforms and advertising strategy to show how you can help individuals and families with your knowledge. Clients who have positive experiences with you are far more likely to leave a positive review.
2) Request Positive Reviews from Satisfied Clients
Most businesses request reviews after a transaction, phone call, or other service provided to a client. However, this runs the risk of the client being unsatisfied with the service they received and leaving a negative review. While it’s not a bad idea, it could be better. Seek out clients that have consistently been happy with your services and request reviews from them. Not only will you receive a good rating, but you’ll also show your client that you value their feedback enough to actively seek it out.
3) Respond Professionally to Negative Reviews
Virtually every business will have negative reviews. Sometimes these low ratings are a result of genuinely poor service, while other times the customer is being less than honest. It’s not always easy to tell which is which. But your job isn’t to do detective work on every single review. Respond professionally to negative reviews, apologizing for the situation and offering a solution when appropriate. Keep your personal feelings out of it. If you stay professional, the frustrated client is more likely to respond in kind and help you reach a solution.
But in some cases, these negative reviews are blatantly untrue or unreasonable. How should you respond in that case? As an example, imagine someone left a negative review complaining that your business didn’t sell a particular product, when your website explicitly states that you don’t carry the product in question. Your response has to walk the line between defending yourself and staying professional. You might respond like this: “I apologize we weren’t able to provide you with what you were looking for. As our website states, we don’t carry this particular product. We hope to provide you with other essentials, however.”
Use Reviews to Your Advantage
Managing online reviews is an important part of any business in the modern world. Other people’s public feedback has a significant influence on potential customers researching your business. Keep track of what people are saying about you online and work to preserve your professional reputation.
Contact us to learn more about our reputation management services.