You look up your business on Yelp, and see one absolutely horrible review right at the top, so it is the first one everyone is reading. Your first instinct is to leave a nasty and insulting reply, right? Well, before you react in a way that will do even more damage, understand that negative reviews do not have to mean disaster. The way you handle them will determine a positive or negative effect for your business.
If you have nothing but perfect reviews, people may wonder if they are all fake. After all, no one can make every person happy 100 percent of the time. A negative review here and there keeps things authentic. This certainly does not mean you can just ignore it though.
Spot Them Quickly
You do not want to discover a negative review two months after the fact. By then, countless people have already read it. You probably lost the customer who wrote it, and the review may have kept you from earning new business. Use social media monitoring and set up Google Alerts, so you will be notified whenever your business pops up online. This includes personal blogs, review sites, and social network platforms.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
It is highly unlikely that someone will sit down and take the time to leave you a bad review unless they are really unhappy. Whatever has caused them to feel ill toward your business is obviously a big deal to them. You should respect this and try to imagine how you would feel if you had their complaint.
Even if you know they are wrong and you are right, you do not want to say this. Anyone reading the review is likely going to side with the customer, so your argument will simply make you look bad. You do not have to necessarily admit you were wrong, but you can apologize for how you or your business has made them feel, because this was certainly not your intention. After all, you strive to make everyone happy, and you are truly disappointed to find that someone isn’t.
Make it Right
If the customer is complaining about a product, then offer to replace it. If they are unhappy with your service, invite them to try again. Do something to make it look like you truly want to right the wrong. Not only does this make you look good to people reading the response; there is a good chance the writer of the review will remove it or edit it after having a positive experience.