Negative reviews and online reputation go hand in hand. Online reviews are an integral part of all online businesses if all offline ones that maintain online listings

In fact, 97% of people follow reviews before making a purchasing decision from a local business? Evidently, there is a strong connection between online reviews and revenue generation.

No business wants to get a single negative review ever. However, many times, some top-notch companies are also unable to cater to the requirements of some customers.

You can perceive it as a customer’s extra-expectation nature or the mistakes of the companies.

But, whatever the reason may be- getting a single negative review means one drop of vinegar in a pot of milk.

That’s why businesses must manage negative reviews as early as possible. It’s your responsibility to contact the disappointed buyers personally and resolve the issue. Once he/she gets satisfied, you can even request him/her to leave an updated review.

You will mainly get two benefits in this regard. First, your online reputation would remain intact.

Second, satisfied customers would more likely tell other people about the fantastic post-sales service from your business.

How to Manage and Respond to Negative Reviews

Now, it’s time to take a look at some brilliant strategies to manage negative reviews:

#1 Always Acknowledge Negative Reviews:

Once you get the notification of a negative review, the first task is to make an acknowledgment. It means personalized responses for all reviews.

You must apologize to the customer for all the inconvenience.

Duly express your gratitude to the customer for choosing your service and bringing the issue to your attention. Also, add that your company would help him/her to solve the problem in the best way possible.

Some companies only respond to positive reviews and keep their behavior indifferent to negative ones.

Actually, not responding to negative reviews shows that you don’t care about your customers’ post-purchase experiences.

Also, you must not get aggressive or offensive while acknowledging any negative criticism. It will further worsen the situation.

Your response can be like this:

Thank you for choosing our service. We apologize for your experience. Please give us a chance to resolve the issue.

We value your investment. Kindly send an email with a detailed complaint to <Your Email ID> with a copy of your review. We will get back to you shortly. Thank you for helping us to make our service better.

Given the power of social media today, your responses can also be more personal and emotionally supportive.

How This Strategy Will Improve Your Business Reputation?

Once satisfied with your post-sales service, the customer will more likely recommend your service to others.

While many companies don’t take any responsibility to improve customers’ negative post-purchasing experience, your business will get credibility as a customer-oriented business.

#2 A Quick Response Is Mandatory:

Once a customer discloses his/her dissatisfaction with your service, you must reach out to that person ASAP. This way, you can limit the damages that could harm your business reputation.

Don’t more than twenty-four hours to respond after receiving the review.

Follow the response formats below and customize it according to the situation and communication channel:

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are very sad to hear about your experiences. We apologize for all the inconvenience. Please send us the problem in detail with a copy of your post at <Your Email Address>. We will shortly address the issue.

In the case of social media like Facebook and Twitter:

We are so bummed that you had such an experience with us. We are hellbent to resolve your issue, right here, right now! Please, let us know more!

What Will Be The Positive Effects On Your Business?

An immediate response to negative reviews shows that you care for your customers, and you support them in post-purchasing problems as well.

Thus, you can make a long-term business relationship with your customers.

Remember, every customer likes to have a personalized experience. So, when you address their problems with attention, it will automatically improve your business reputation and increase the “Feel-good” factor of satisfaction in your customers.

#3Apologize For The Inconveniences

Every customer expects at least an apology for inconveniences they experienced from a business. It might be a simple misunderstanding, but you should think about your business reputation first.

An apology sends a clear message that YOU CARE!

What Are The Advantages In Terms Of Your Business Reputation?

Addressing customers’ post-purchasing problems will convey the message that you can understand their pain.

A simple apology for not catering to their expectations will save your business reputation, even if it was not your fault.

Take an example from the format below:

Thanks a lot for reaching out. We are very sad that we failed to please you. Give us a chance to solve our mistakes.

Send us your problem in detail at <Your Email Address>, and we will personally listen to all your complaints and resolve them quickly. Best wishes.

#4 Tend to your miserable customers privately

Don’t stretch the conversation on public review websites. Instead, you should strive hard to move it into a private medium, such as phone, email, etc. Social media channels like Facebook Messenger, Twitter Handles, and Whatsapp work wonders these days.

How It Will Restore Your Reputation?

The strategy will help you to limit the damage to your business reputation. And later, you can request the customer to update his/her review with the new post-sales experience.

Thus, you can completely control the situation.

#5 Keep Your Acknowledgement Short And Concise

Don’t exceed your reply to a negative review beyond three lines. Otherwise, it will encourage the customer to stretch the conversation.

Just acknowledge the problem, write a simple apology note, and move the conversation offline.

A reply with excuses or explanations will worsen the problem.

Let’s take a look at the example below:

Hi James,

Thank you for contacting us. I apologize for not being able to cater to your expectations. But I can assure you that your problem will be solved soon. Please send an email at <Your Email Address> with your problem in detail. Thank you!

Benefits for Your Online Business Reputation

Keeping your reply small and succinct will help you to sort out the matter soon. Thus, the conversation won’t get any longer and elaborate.

#6 Take Help Of Reputation Management Software:

If you don’t have time to address every negative review, you can use reputation management software.

Just do thorough research, and you will find where your business got 4-stars on a website and where it got 2-stars.

There can be thousands of such reviews.

Clearly, it’s challenging to manage them all together manually. Also, you might miss many negative reviews and remain unaware of the effects.

So, if you are already a prominent name in your field, rely on an online reputation management tool only. These tools provide social data of a business, request customers to leave a review, close the loop of negative reviews, and so on.

Some of the top tools for reputation and review management include:

  • Review Push
  • Reputology
  • Google Alerts
  • BrandMentions
  • BuzzSumo

Online reputation management tools also create feedback surveys and motivate customers to leave positive reviews on social media websites.

These tools help you to figure out what customers are precisely thinking of your business. The social media conversations that follow will clarify it a lot for you.

#7 Don’t Forget To Follow Up

Once you resolve the complaints of a dissatisfied customer, you must follow up to make sure he/she is happy now. You can also request them to share the updated experience with the world by writing a new review. If they are satisfied with your solution, they will happily do that.

#8 Be Aware Of Fake Reviews

Some customers (competition posing as customers) can write fake reviews to bad mouth your business. Prying competitors can also hire professionals to write counterfeit reviews against your business to destroy your reputation. So, it’s essential to figure out whether a negative review is genuine or not.

We have a detailed post about how to find them and deal with them on sites like Yelp. Find it here! [FOR CLIENT: LINK THE POST How to Identify and Deal with Fake Yelp Reviews]

A single negative review can tarnish your online reputation. Therefore, a proper strategy of review management is critical. You should extract positive opportunities from negative reviews to grow your business. Every business will attract criticism. You can never satisfy everyone everywhere. You can’t win against the diversity of human nature. Therefore, you must need to learn to handle them patiently but swiftly.

Now, it’s your turn to choose the feasible strategies from the above list and act accordingly. Keep growing!