Every business dreads getting a bad review because customer reviews have the power to make or break your business. What can you do if your small business does receive a negative review?
Why do people leave negative reviews?
Before you handle a negative review, you have to recognize few things first. Sometimes, no matter how nice you are or how good your service was, there will still be people who leave a bad review after. Try to notice a pattern of what consumers are saying about your business. They may have come in with a bias from other less than positive reviews you have received. Or, someone told them something negative about your business that affected their perception of your business before they can form their own opinion. Some things are just out of your control, and it's your job to control the things you can.
How to handle the initial shock
First of all, stay calm; a negative review is not the end of the world. Remember not to take anything too personally because everyone is entitled to their opinion. Try to read your reviews from the perspective of a customer to give you a better understanding of where they are coming from.
Here are some common ways you shouldn't respond to a negative customer review
Responding with criticism - Remember, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
Responding with anger - No matter what, always be respectful of your customers.
Blaming the customer -Instead, it's important for you to take responsibility for your actions as a business, especially if you are in the service industry.
Using inappropriate language - This will only decrease your chances of repairing your relationship with the customer and give potential customers a bad impression of you and your business.
Ignoring a review - As with most things, ignoring the problem does not solve anything.
Arguing online - Again, this will negatively reflect on the reputation of your business and deter future customers.
How to monitor your reviews
According to powerreviews.com, “the ideal star rating for a product is between 4.2 and 4.5 stars, and purchase likelihood starts to drop when a product’s average star rating reaches a perfect 5. The occasional negative review gets your average star rating between 4.2 and 4.5 where purchase likelihood peaks.” As you can see, it's important to establish a system for monitoring your reviews in order to keep your overall ranking from dropping below your desired numbers.
There are various tools you can use to monitor your reviews. For example, our Review Generation Tool allows us to track positive and negative reviews. Our proprietary CRM will also email or text your customers a survey about their experience.
How to spot a negative review
In order to be vigilant, you have to look out for these telltale signs of a negative review.
Low star ratings
Negative comments on your social media platforms
Look for fake reviews, so you can remove them
Make sure the review was conducted by a real customer