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Reputation Management: How to Deal with Negative Online Reviews

  • April 23, 2019
  • By GR Harlow
  • In Digital Marketing, Industry, Social Media

If you’re struggling to respond to a negative review on social media, you’re not alone. No business is perfect. Staff have bad days. Equipment stops working. You’re running late due to an emergency. A product doesn’t turn out exactly as planned. Life happens, people have opinions, and social media is a hot outlet for angry or dissatisfied customers. So, although your reviews may be 99% positive on Facebook or Yelp, what do you do about those few negative comments?

Here are 4 ways to improve your online reputation management.

1. Respond Quickly

When it comes to online reputation management, speed matters. As soon as you notice a complaint or an emotionally charged comment, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible so they don’t feel ignored. Always respond publicly (directly to their review or comment) and then move the conversation to messenger, email, or phone. The person who wrote the complaint will appreciate the fast response, and other potential customers will appreciate that your business is speedy with replies and you appear to work towards resolution with unhappy clients.

2. Keep Calm and Don’t Make Excuses

Take a deep breath before you respond and put some thought into what you want to say. Do not, under any circumstances, insult the reviewer or turn into a hothead. Any negative comments from you will just escalate the situation and make your business look unprofessional. In addition, your first response may be to make an excuse for a certain situation, like you were short staffed or had technical issues. Don’t do it. Own the mistake or situation and keep your response positive.

For example: “We’re so sorry you had to wait 45 minutes for your food. We’ve been serving great meals to thousands of amazing customers for over 20 years, but each and every customer is important to us.

3. Resolve the Issue

How you respond to negative reviews says a lot of your business and speaks volumes to future customers. If you can, resolve the issue, even if it costs you. Offer a refund, let them return a product with no questions asked, or send them a gift card. Often times people get caught up in the moment but after they realize you are willing to work with them, they will try your services again in the future. Show your potential clients you go above and beyond to satisfy your customers, even if it’s painful.

4. Don’t Take Bad Reviews Personally

Yes, people may be complaining about YOUR business, but they aren’t complaining about YOU. It’s hard not to feel hurt or frustrated when someone insults your company, but the reviewer is talking about their experience with your business, not you as an individual. In these situations it’s important to be able to put on your business face and separate your work life from your personal life. And remember, it’s impossible to make everyone happy.

5. People Expect Some Negative Reviews

Finally, keep in mind that when people check out businesses on sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Twitter, they expect to see some negative reviews. Again, no business is perfect and some people just really enjoy complaining on public platforms. After all, we are all human.

Have questions about your online reputation management and how to use your positive reviews or testimonials? Struggling with managing your social media sites? Contact Blindspot today to learn more about how we can best support your growing business.

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