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Online Reputation Management – Dealing With Negative Reviews

Nothing has quite the same effect as that of a positive review. Be it for a product or for the service you’ve provided, your attention to detail, your consideration or even just the friendliness of your tone, a positive review can do a lot for your company. We train every single one of our team members to act as ambassadors of our company, our services and of our brand. Why? Because where marketing is concerned, the job never ends. Yes, you may have marketing strategies that comprise online interactions and promotions, but the demeanor with which you communicate can either hurt or help your cause. You don’t treat customers like royalty because you want positive reviews; you do it because that’s just the right way to conduct business. We’ve said this before and it will echo in eternity: Everyone’s been a customer at some point of their lives, so keep how you treat yours, at the forefront of your mind. If we want quality customers and fruitful engagements with them, we have to move beyond the provision of our products and services, to put some focus on the standards we uphold as far a good treatment is concerned. You can’t please all the people all the time, but you can certainly cover your bases. But then, there are those instances when things slip up…when something has happened and one of the most depressing things happens: You’ve gotten a negative review…

Ok, first things first, don’t panic! Seconds things second, don’t under-react, either…When someone gives you a negative review, once there is merit in it, it needs to be addressed and processed. Reviews are an effortless form of marketing, especially on the internet. Sometimes, in specific industries, droves of new business opportunities can stem from just a couple well-publicized positive reviews. But when a negative review surfaces, how you handle it can be a good or bad thing for your company. Correcting and enhancing your online reputation is not easy per se, but it is a lot easier than trying to clean up a mess online that has spilled far and wide. Here are a few tips on how to deal with less than flattering feedback:

1. Once the issue has been proven valid, conduct your internal checks to ensure that this is something that won’t happen again.

2. Apologize personally. Where possible, get your disgruntled customer’s phone number and give them a ring. People like knowing that their (actual) voice is valid. If this is difficult, connect with them via email. There is a small window of opportunity to make amends.

3. Apologize publicly.  Much in the same way that you would say thanks to someone who left you a positive remark, you still must address negative ones with respect, too. You’re not going to get into a pissing match in the open forum, but what you will do is acknowledge the person’s poor experience, and make a commitment to alleviate the situation.

4. Try to get more positive feedback. Once you have not dismissed the negativity, you’re en route to doing what has to be done in terms of damage control. But a negative review is akin to a blemish on clear skin…it just looks off. Do what you can, not to negate the poor review, but to show other fresh readers/viewers that this is not your modus operandi.

5. Dependent on the size of the issue (how many people were affected/reported an issue), make sure to issue a press release when you’ve rectified the matter. You have to re-inspire confidence and trust in your brand, manually.

If you need help beyond this, please contact us to discuss our online reputation management services as part of our SEO services suite.