OMG - It's a bad review!!!!

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One of the key aspects of growing any business is providing superb service day in and day out.

Outstanding service can drive word-of-mouth marketing as well as positive online reviews for future growth. However it’s virtually impossible to keep every customer happy, and when you see a negative online review it can feel like your online reputation was damaged overnight.

Your immediate response will probably be “how do I fix my negative online review(s)”.

A negative review can actually have a positive effect on your business if you handle it in the right way.

Benefits of negative online reviews may be-

A/ Online Reviews show proof of what other customers think of your business –

It’s a bit of a numbers game, you just need many more good reviews than bad ones.   Reality is, the more customers you have the greater chance you will run into an unhappy customer.  But it's not all bad.  Here’s the benefit, according to a Marketing study:  

30% of consumers assume online reviews are faked.... if a business has NO negative reviews.  It shows that you're real.

B/ Online Reviews can help uncover problems or potential problems in your business –  

every small business has some things they can improve on.  Honest customer feedback can be one of the fastest and best ways to uncover things to improve in your business. Always look at customer feedback from a customers point of view to determine if there is room for improvement, or something you could or should have done better.

C/ Online Reviews can help increases customer service –

As your business grows, so does your staffing levels - it doesn't take long to realise you can’t do every thing yourself.  Online reviews allow you to measure your customer service and help you make real changes in the areas that your customers deem to be most needed.  You can implement a system to prevent the same problem happening again.

One of the most valuable things you can do is be proactive in improving your online reputation.

1. Respond and thank all reviews.  You really need to respond to every online review, not just the negative ones.  This way, you’re showing you care about all your customers, not just concerned with defending yourself against negative ones. (Which is a bad look to potential customers, who are checking out your reviews.)  Thank customers for their negative and positive feedback. This will show potential customers that you're willing to take constructive criticism to improve the way you run your business and serve your customers.

2. Try and be as open, honest and realistic as possible. Potential Customers can usually tell if a reviewer is complaining just for the sake of it, or if it’s a legitimate cause for concern.  Just be sure that you aren't seeing the same complaint over and over again. This is a big red flag to a potential customer.  If you or your team made a mistake, admit it!  Apologise, and explain your business will learn from it, and do it's best to stop it from happening in the future. When dealing with a complainer politely respond, thanking them for their valuable feedback, and always give thanks for the positive reviews. If your customer is willing to take time out of their busy day to write a review....good or bad - the least you can do is thank them. (Note: The Yap About System makes it easier for your customer to give you great reviews, and also alert you when a customer isn't happy - BEFORE they give you a bad online review.)

3. Reach out if possible – If you can, pick up the phone and and get a better understanding of their problem. This gives you a much better chance to resolve the issue and could lead to them updating your review in a more positive manner. and often doing this also leads to a repeat customer.

Also think about offering a discount, free service or product.  Nothing says you care more to a customer than giving something of true value to them.

Remember - always try and look at what's happened from a customers (and potential customers) point of view.  

If you can do this, it will pay you back tenfold!