All business owners know that your online reputation and reviews from customers, clients, or patients is critical. In fact, Google includes online reviews highly in determining where your business ranks in search. Unfortunately, many business owners live in fear of getting bad reviews and don’t know what to do if that should happen. In reality, all businesses will occasionally get a less than favorable review and here are three important steps that you should avoid at all costs.
- Do not hire a marketing company who states that they can eliminate bad reviews or wipe them clean. This is a fallacy and cannot be done. If there is a negative review that isn’t legitimate, a business can file a claim with a review site (e.g. Yelp, Google, etc.) to have the review removed, but it is at the discretion of that site. Bad reviews cannot be deleted.
- Do not go online and try to refute (or argue) with the review or reviewer. This only adds credibility to the bad review and makes you as a business owner look defensive.
- Do not simply ignore the review in hopes that it will eventually “go away”. It won’t. Instead, the correct response is to respond professionally, with empathy and even offer to correct the issue. This is true even if the complaint is ridiculous and only resides in the brain of that one reviewer. This approach does two positive things: a) it can diffuse an angry reviewer and b) it makes you appear professional and pro-active in the eyes of all others who read the review (and trust me, people read reviews).
Another bonus tip for you is that keeping your audience engaged online with regular content (social media posts, videos, blog posts, etc.) helps encourage more positive reviews coming in without you even having to solicit them. People like free information and share your content as well as telling their friends about your business (free referrals). Give these tips a try the next time you see a scary review on Yelp about your business.