How to Respond to Negative Reviews Publicly

Inevitably if you have a business online, you probably also have reviews. Negative reviews are often harsh and feel that way as well. With the online review, you have to be careful. While it’s great to have reviews of your services and products, you may get a negative review once in a while. In this instance, the best way to handle it is to respond publicly. Why shouldn’t you just ignore it? For one, it’s online brand management 101. To manage your brand and show customers that reviews were handled well, you should respond to every negative review publicly and professionally. There are a few things that you want to do to bring the conversation back to how great and wonderful your brand is and away from the negatives of the review.

Inevitably if you have a business online, you probably also have reviews. Negative reviews are often harsh and feel that way as well. With the online review, you have to be careful. While it’s great to have reviews of your services and products, you may get a negative review once in a while. In this instance, the best way to handle it is to respond publicly. Why shouldn’t you just ignore it? For one, it’s online brand management 101. To manage your brand and show customers that reviews were handled well, you should respond to every negative review publicly and professionally. There are a few things that you want to do to bring the conversation back to how great and wonderful your brand is and away from the negatives of the review.

1. Create a Negative Review Policy

If you aren’t the one responding to the reviews, you should create a policy for responding to negative reviews about different products particularly if one product or service is getting more bad reviews than others. You should be able to respond to every review, and you shouldn’t respond if you can’t own up to the problems and describe situations where future customers won’t have to deal with the issue. You should also offer to fix any problems if possible.

2. Understand Review Site Tools

A number of sites allow owners to respond to comments professionally, and you can even get negative reviews removed if it was resolved. You may also be able to edit reviews. You should make sure to review the site policy for reviews. For example, Google Places allows owners to respond to, delete and edit reviews left for them.

3. Look for the Positives

Some bad reviews are just ridiculous. They don’t know the product, and you can’t help them because the reviewer seems to have the wrong company. In every review, you want to be the positive force and look for the positives as well. Bad reviews can provide advantages to your small business. You can also supply positives such as contacting the reviewer directly to rectify the problem or offering a discount. You don’t want to do this publicly, however.

4. Bring the Conversation Private

While you want to respond publicly to negative reviews, you should always try to bring the conversation private by asking to call the customer or ask that they call you. If you can include some language about talking to the owner directly, others will read this is as a proactive statement. You can use bad reviews to show how attentive and concerned that you are about their feedback.

5. Be Careful In Your Approach

It’s important to be thoughtful, professional and apologetic when you reply, but you should also make a point to highlight and address certain parts of the interview. You can address how you fixed the situation and also explain publicly how you handled any missed communication. It should be shown that you have done everything to resolve the problems with the customer.

It’s important to never ignore bad reviews because they don’t go away. You can get them reviewed, but there will likely be another bad review sooner or later. By managing your bad reviews and responding to them, you show tenacity and concern for your customers that is appreciated by those who read reviews before purchasing from a company. If you are getting a lot of negative reviews, you can also use that to make some changes to your business.