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How to Respond to Bad Reviews on the Internet

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    No matter how hard you try, and even if you do everything right, your business will almost certainly receive a negative online review at some point. But a bad online review is not the end of the world for your business. It is critical to understand how to respond to bad reviews on the internet to stay competitive and thrive as a business. To respond to bad reviews:

    1. Respond to the review in a timely manner;
    2. Address the customer by name – unless you are a medical professional, attorney, or other professional legally bound by confidentiality restrictions;
    3. Strive to understand what the customer is saying;
    4. Thank the customer for leaving the review;
    5. Sympathize with the customer and genuinely apologize;
    6. Offer to resolve the issue;
    7. Keep the response short and sweet;
    8. Try to move the conversation offline;
    9. Refrain from getting defensive or insulting the customer;
    10. Avoid violating confidentiality obligations or professional privilege rules;
    11. Avoid responding in all CAPS;
    12. Know when to let the review go and move on.

    At Minc Law, we have extensive experience helping clients navigate and respond to negative online reviews across a variety of consumer review platforms. We identify and remove damaging consumer reviews as quickly and efficiently as possible, and avoid drawing unnecessary attention to the matter.

    This article will discuss how bad reviews can impact your business, tips for dealing with both positive and negative online reviews, and how to effectively respond to negative online reviews of your business.

    How to Respond to Negative Reviews of Your Business on the Internet

    Before responding to a negative review, consider whether you actually should. While it is often human instinct to want to defend your business from a malicious or false bad review, that is not always the best course of action.

    Should Businesses Respond to Bad Reviews?

    There are numerous factors that may counsel against responding to a negative online review. Responding to a review can increase its visibility and prominence. It can encourage more bad reviews. It can backfire if you respond poorly.

    For certain professions, like doctors and lawyers, there is an additional reason not to respond: doing so can get you into legal and ethical trouble. If you have ethical obligations to your clients, consider consulting an attorney before responding to any online review.

    That said, there are circumstances when it makes sense to respond to a negative review. If the review is not fake or defamatory and airs a legitimate concern or problem, you should consider responding.

    If you address the negative customer review appropriately, you can neutralize it, or even come to a positive outcome. For instance, the customer might edit the review or even remove the review altogether.

    In most situations, we generally do NOT recommend responding publicly to bad reviews unless your business is facing a major PR disaster, is a notable brand, or operates in an industry that receives high volumes of user traffic and reviews.

    Why Should You Respond to Negative Reviews of Your Business Online?

    According to a 2018 Harvard Business Review study, responding to reviews – both negative and positive – leads to an increase in your business’s overall rating. The authors of this study believe that this is due to an intrinsic desire to avoid conflict. If a customer sees that the manager will respond to all reviews, they may be less likely to leave a review and have to engage with the company in such a public forum.

    In addition, responding to negative reviews can help form a relationship both with the complaining customer and potential customers. It shows that you are invested in your company and want to make things right. It also gives future customers assurance that if something goes wrong, you will strive to do better.

    What Should You Avoid When Responding to Negative Reviews of Your Business?

    As a business owner or manager, reading a negative review of your business can feel like a personal attack. It is natural to feel defensive. However, it is key to avoid becoming defensive and lashing out when crafting your response. No matter how upset the customer makes you feel, or how much you believe the review is mean, dumb, or just plain wrong, stay calm, empathetic, and responsive.

    When you are angry or defensive, you may have the urge to respond right away. That is alright. While it is important to respond promptly, it is more important that you do not leave a rash, impulsive review response that you will later regret. Take time to think about your response. Run it by a friend or coworker. Read it through again. Then post.

    What Should Always Be Included in a Response to a Negative Online Review of Your Business?

    If you only post one thing in response, have it be this: An apology. A simple apology can turn a disgruntled customer into a satisfied customer, particularly if done in a way that shows that you heard the customer’s concerns and want to fix them. Most of the time disgruntled customers just want to be heard and receive an apology.

    Tips to Deal with Negative Online Reviews

    88% of consumers cite word-of-mouth recommendations – including online reviews – as a key factor in making their purchasing decisions. In today’s digital age, the importance of online reviews to a business’s longevity and success cannot be understated.

    The Do’s of Responding to Bad Online Reviews

    The bottom line is that how you handle these reviews can cultivate consumers or drive them away. Below we provide key tips on how to respond to bad reviews on the internet.

    Respond to the Review in a Timely Manner

    More than 50% of consumers who leave reviews expect to hear back from the business within 7 days of posting. Nearly a quarter expect a response within 3 days. To the extent you can, respond within 48 hours.

    However, if you feel that you cannot respond calmly and maturely until more time goes by, it is better to wait until you can or ask someone else to draft the response for you.

    Address the Customer by Name

    If the customer has left their name on the review, use their name when replying. This can help customers feel heard and acknowledged.

    However, if the customer did not leave their name, but you know who it is because of their experience, do not call them out. This could potentially violate professional or ethical confidentiality obligations (as addressed below), especially if you are in the legal or medical field.

    Understand What the Customer is Saying

    It is easy to become defensive when reading a negative review. To respond appropriately to an online review, you need to put those feelings aside and focus on what the customer is saying.

    Be sure to respond to what they have actually written, not what you think they should have written or what you believe their experience to have been. When addressing their concerns, do not make excuses. Instead, focus on solutions.

    Thank the Customer For Leaving the Review

    It may seem counterintuitive, but you should thank the reviewer for their feedback and for taking the time to leave the review. A negative comment is an opportunity for you as a business owner.

    A complaining customer provides a chance to make things right not just for that customer, but for all other silent unhappy customers too.

    Sympathize With the Customer

    A bad experience with a company or with customer service can be upsetting for customers. Even if you do not agree with their version of the events or feel that they are exaggerating, the customer is feeling upset for a reason.

    Acknowledge the customer’s experience and show that you sympathize with what happened to them.

    Genuinely Apologize

    One way to show sympathy is to apologize. Make sure the apology is sincere. Avoid passive-aggressive phrases like “I’m sorry you felt that way,” as this attempts to take the blame off your company and places it on the customer.

    Instead, take responsibility. Even if you do not agree with the criticism they have left, you should still apologize.

    Try to Resolve the Issue

    Sometimes it is obvious what the solution to the bad customer review is. For instance, if the customer got a faulty product, you can offer to replace it at no cost. Other things to consider are refunds, discounts, or coupons towards future products or services.

    Sometimes the solution is not so obvious. If that is the case, do not be afraid to ask the customer what you can do to make it right.

    Keep the Response Short & Sweet

    Your response should be short and sweet. If you include too much information, you may end up providing more opportunities for the customer to become upset and respond again.

    You do not want to engage in a lengthy and public online argument. Doing so may deter potential customers from coming to your business and will not help you win back the angry customer.

    Take the Discussion Offline

    At the end of the review, leave your contact information so that the customer can reach out to you directly. This may help avoid a public back and forth. It also gives a personal touch to your response and lets your customer know there is a face behind the business.

    The Don’ts of Responding to Bad Online Reviews

    Now you know how to respond to online reviews. But nearly as important is how not to respond to online reviews. We provide some tips below.

    Don’t Get Defensive

    While you may be tempted to defend yourself or what happened, that does not play well in an online forum. Being defensive discounts the negative experience of the customer. It also shows future customers that you are not able to take responsibility or make things right when something goes wrong.

    Don’t Use Insults

    Calling customers names, using foul language, or otherwise berating them is a surefire way to lose business. Not only will it turn off the customer you are responding to, but it will also make other customers hesitant to use your services.

    Insulting a customer also has the potential to make your response go viral, which could cause even more negative customer reviews and damage to your business.

    Don’t Make Excuses

    Do not give excuses for why the customer had a bad experience. Worse yet, do not blame the bad experience on the customer. However, you can provide an explanation and offer a solution for how you plan to avoid the negative experience in the future.

    Don’t Take the Review Personally

    Your business is important to you. Reading negative comments can feel bad. It is natural to take these comments personally. However, it is not personal – it is just business! Take a breath, think about the comment objectively, and respond appropriately.

    Remember, a credible negative customer review is a great opportunity to reassess what is going on with your business and think about what can be done even better.

    Don’t Violate Confidentiality Obligations

    Medical and legal professionals may not be able to publicly respond to online reviews without violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or other professional privilege regulations.

    For example, HIPAA prohibits doctors and other medical professionals from even acknowledging that a reviewer is a patient, identifying the patient by name, or discussing individual patient experiences. Doing so could expose one’s medical practice or organization to regulatory investigations, fines, and disciplinary actions.

    For examples of HIPAA compliant (and non-compliant) responses, make sure to read our article ‘How Medical Providers Can Remove & Respond to Negative Medical Reviews’.

    If you are a medical professional looking to arm yourself against negative and fake medical reviews, make sure to check out our video below. In it, you’ll learn 1. Importance of cultivating positive online reviews, 2. Best practices for how to respond to online reviews, 3. What to do if your medical practice receives a fake or negative patient reviews, and 4. Factors you should consider before filing a lawsuit over the review.

    Video: How Medical Professionals Can Remove & Respond to Negative Patient Reviews

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    Watch

    Don’t Respond in All CAPS

    Responding in All CAPS is the online equivalent of yelling. You would not yell at your customers in real life. You do not want to yell at them online either.

    Don’t Get Pulled into an Online Battle

    Avoid engaging in a back and forth online battle with the customer. If they do not respond well to your first response, it is best to let it go.

    In addition, never give in to unreasonable demands from the customer. Do not condone bullies, extortion, or other malicious tactics. You do not want to set a bad precedent for future customer complaints.

    Below are several examples of how to – and how not to – respond to a negative online review.

    Sample Good Response

    “Johnny, thank you for your feedback. I am so sorry you had a bad experience at our establishment. I can understand why you are upset and frustrated. This is not the type of experience we strive to give our customers. Please give us a chance to fix this by allowing me to send you a $25 gift card to our restaurant. We’d like the opportunity to try again and win back your business. Please feel free to call me at 555-5555 or e-mail me at manager@restaurant.com.”

    The response here strives to understand what the customer is saying. It is sympathetic and apologetic, taking responsibility for the bad experience. It tries to resolve the issue by offering a gift certificate to make up for the customer’s negative experience. It is short and to the point. And finally, it offers the customer the opportunity to engage in a private forum.

    Sample Bad Response

    “LIES. Our wait times are never over an hour and there is no way your steak was ice cold. We keep ALL of our food at an appropriate temperature and everything is served piping HOT. Please take your bad attitude somewhere else. DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS GUY. FAKE NEWS!”

    The response here fails to follow the guidelines above. It is defensive and angry. It takes no responsibility for the customer’s bad experience. Remember, a response is not just a response to the person who left the review. It is a response to all potential customers. Customers may be put off by such an aggressive response and take their business elsewhere.

    When Should You Consider Having Negative Online Reviews Removed?

    Negative reviews are part and parcel of owning a business in today’s digital age. But there is a difference between a negative customer review and a defamatory review.

    Bad reviews – or reviews written by a customer about their actual experiences – are legal. While frustrating, you do not have a legal remedy to have these reviews removed. That does not mean, however, that you cannot ask the customer to remove the negative feedback after you have resolved their complaint.

    On the other hand, a defamatory review is unlawful. Defamation refers to a published false statement that causes harm to your, or your business’s, reputation. So if a reviewer posts negative things that never happened, or was never a customer at all, this may give rise to a claim for defamation (and a defamation lawsuit). You also may have grounds to have the statement removed.

    What Do You Need to Have Negative Online Reviews Removed?

    There are four main methods to try to remove a negative or defamatory online review:

    Ask the Original Author to Remove the Review

    If you have resolved the customer’s complaint, do not be afraid to ask them to remove the negative review that they posted. If they are satisfied with your response to their issues, they are more likely to be willing to do so.

    Flag the Review to the Hosting Website

    Many sites, including Google, have mechanisms to flag reviews for removal. In the event you have received a defamatory or fake review, we recommend first consulting the respective platform’s Terms of Service (ToS), preserving evidence of the violation, and following their flagging and/or reporting procedures.

    For example, to flag fake Google reviews, navigate to the review(s) you want to report, locate the “flag” or three vertical dots in the corner of the review, and select the Google policy it violates.

    To better identify fake online reviews, make sure to read our article by attorney and founder Aaron Minc explaining how to spot fake reviews.

    Implement Online Reputation Management Strategies

    Sometimes you cannot remove an online review. But you can still suppress it. Online reputation management refers to a combination of digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and public relations strategies used to monitor and bolster an individual or business’s online reputation.

    Doing so can help propel positive information and content about your business to the top of search results while driving down negative content (ex. Bad reviews or news articles).

    Pursue Legal Action to Remove the Review

    Convincing an online review platform to remove a review is not always an easy task, and oftentimes a review can go undetected by a platform’s review escalation team and remain live. This is when it is worth considering pursuing legal action to obtain a court order ordering the platform to remove the review.

    Filing a lawsuit can be time-consuming and is a serious decision that should usually only be sought as a last resort. Even if successful, the review could remain up for years as the case works its way through the system.

    That is why it is important to consult an experienced internet attorney to advise you of your legal options and the associated risks and rewards. An experienced internet attorney can also help explore alternative ways to remove or suppress a review(s).

    For further reading, we recommend checking out our article by attorney Andrew Stebbins explaining if a business can sue for a bad review.

    What Are the Most Common Reasons for Negative Online Reviews?

    Bad reviews are a fact of modern business life. No matter how hard you try, you cannot please everyone. While there are a number of reasons why customers leave bad reviews, here are some of the most common reasons.

    They Want to Warn Others About a Bad Experience

    Oftentimes, customers leave negative reviews to inform or warn others of the experience they had. And these warnings may very well be effective, with up to 94% of consumers stating they have avoided businesses in the past because of negative online reviews.

    They Want an Apology

    A 2015 “customer rage” study by Dialog Direct found that an apology can go a long way when it comes to customer satisfaction. Only 37% of customers were satisfied after being offered monetary compensation in response to their review. That number increased to nearly 75% after it was accompanied with a sincere apology.

    Offering a genuine apology is an easy fix that can potentially pay dividends for your business.

    They Want Financial Reimbursement

    It is not uncommon for reviewers to demand a refund, store credit, or gift card. If appropriate to the situation, you should consider offering financial reimbursement. But remember to stay clear of extortion attempts or other malicious tactics by online reviewers.

    They Want Revenge

    Although rare, some posters write negative reviews because they want revenge. Trying to make things right can defuse the customer’s anger. Your positive review response can also show other potential customers that you are willing to make things right.

    How Bad Reviews Can Impact Your Business

    Negative reviews can significantly affect your business. Four out of five consumers have decided not to purchase a product after reading negative reviews. And 94% of consumers have avoided businesses because of a negative online review. In fact, the more negative reviews a business has, the more likely a customer is to avoid it.

    This means that negative reviews can cost your business revenue. In extreme cases, businesses can even close their doors because of negative online reviews.

    In addition to affecting your company’s bottom line, there are compounding effects from negative online reviews.

    Bad Reviews Can Impact Your Company’s Employment Brand & Hiring Process

    It is harder for a business with a bad online reputation to attract and hire quality candidates. Company culture is important to would-be employees. In fact, 46% of job seekers cite company culture as “very important” when deciding whether to apply for a job.

    A smaller applicant pool means more money spent on finding job applications. A 2016 Harvard Business Review study found that companies with a negative online presence spent an average of 10% more per hire.

    Having a harder time attracting quality candidates can also create a vicious cycle. With fewer good candidates to hire, your customers may be more likely to have a negative experience, leading to more negative reviews.

    Bad Reviews Can Impact the Trustworthiness of a Brand

    As Warren Buffet famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Negative reviews can damage your hard-earned reputation, and quickly. A bad review makes potential customers trust your company less.

    In fact, 50% of respondents in a 2017 BrightLocal survey emphasized that negative customer reviews made them question the quality of the business. The more negative business reviews there are, the more that trust is eroded.

    Bad Reviews Can Impact Your Business’s Financial Status

    Negative online reviews drive customers away from your business. Even one negative review can cause you to lose 22% of your potential customers. Three negative reviews can drive away nearly 60% of customers.

    In extreme cases, particularly when your business is overrun by negative reviews, a business may be forced to shut down.

    The good news is that the flip side is also true. Positive reviews can have a tremendously positive effect on your business. Consumers are willing to spend up to 31% more at companies with excellent reviews. And for every 1-star increase in ratings, revenues increase between 5 and 9%.

    How Significant Can a Bad Review Be to a Business’s Reputation?

    When it comes to bad reviews, it is all about perspective. If you have a hundred glowing reviews and one or two negative reviews, your online reputation might actually improve.

    According to an e-book by Reevoo, a customer engagement and research platform, over two-thirds of customers trust a review profile more when there are both negative and positive reviews. When a company is only filled with glowing reviews, it can raise suspicions that the profile has been doctored.

    But if you only have a handful of reviews, and even one of them is negative, that is a bigger deal. If you have one one-star rating, and one five-star rating, that leaves you with an unhealthy 2.5-star overall rating. For instance, in the hotel industry, 88% of travelers filter out hotels with an average star rating below three.

    Moreover, if you receive multiple bad reviews on the same topic, that is a red flag that consumers may internalize. Follow our tips in this article to help fix the situation as best and as quickly as possible.

    How Businesses Can Improve Their Online Reputations & Generate Positive Reviews

    Just as negative reviews can decrease your business potential, positive business reviews can increase it. 94% of consumers that read online reviews of a business before making a purchase said that positive reviews influenced their decision. Over 12% of respondents said that positive online reviews were a key factor in motivating them to contact a business.

    How Should Businesses Encourage Customers to Leave Positive Reviews?

    Positive reviews can also help to drown out negative reviews, increasing your overall star rating. Soliciting positive reviews from your customers does not have to be awkward or scary. Below are several key tips for your business to generate positive reviews.

    Just Ask

    The old saying is true – it never hurts to ask! You may be surprised at how often your happy customers will oblige you and write a nice review. Be sure to ask in multiple formats.

    For instance, include a link to a review site at the end of your emails. Leave a request on your voicemail greeting. Send out periodic blasts on social media and company newsletters. Hand customers business cards with a QR code to your profile in an online review platform.

    Finally, ask customers in person when they come into your business.

    Create a Process to Ask For Reviews

    There are a lot of things to remember when running a business. If you do not make soliciting reviews a standard part of your operating procedure, it likely will not get done. Create a process to ask for reviews that becomes part of your daily routine.

    For instance, whenever sending out an invoice, include a link to a review platform at the bottom. Or have your cashier ask happy customers to fill out a Google review on their way out.

    Target Satisfied Customers

    If you have a customer who has told you in person that they are pleased with your services, ask them to leave a review. Explain to them that positive reviews make a big difference in being able to attract new customers and keep your business going.

    Offer an Incentive

    People are busy. It takes time to write a review. Even if your customer had a great experience, writing a good review for a business can fall to the bottom of the to-do pile. Sweeten the pot by offering an incentive for people who write a review.

    For instance, you could offer 20% of a single purchase, the chance to be entered into a raffle, or a small donation to a charity.

    Follow Up

    There is another old saying that is true here – if at first you do not succeed, try, try again. Just because you asked a customer once to write a review does not mean that they immediately pulled out their phones and did just that.

    A short, polite follow-up email asking for their help supporting your business by writing a review can be just the push needed.

    How to Respond to Positive Reviews

    While we have covered the reasons why it is important to respond to negative reviews, it is equally important to respond to positive reviews too. Responding to positive reviews provides several key benefits, including:

    1. It enables you to reinforce why people like your business,
    2. It is polite to thank someone for the time it took to write a positive review,
    3. It allows you to engage with your customer base,
    4. It shows potential customers how much you care about feedback, encouraging further positive reviews,
    5. It can positively affect search rankings and improve your SEO and marketing efforts,
    6. It is a great marketing moment, allowing you to call attention to valued parts of your business.

    Do keep in mind that republishing positive reviews on your business’s website can cause issues if done so without a reviewer’s permission. This is especially true in the medical and legal fields, where patient and client confidentiality obligations create an “ethical minefield” to navigate.

    With these benefits in mind, here are some tips for how to respond to positive reviews.

    Say Thank You

    Be appreciative of the customer for leaving their positive feedback. Personalize your review response. Instead of saying something vague like “Thank you for the review!” be specific.

    Try instead something like “Thank you for leaving a review. We are really glad you enjoyed our happy hour specials, especially the half-off pizza appetizer!”

    Add Some Subtle Self-Promotion

    Responding to a good review is a great way to reinforce your image. You can do this by building off of the positive review that was left.

    For instance, if the customer compliments you on your customer service, you can mention that your staff has been around for over a decade and loves to help people find just the right product.

    Invite the Customer Back

    One of the overarching goals of responding to positive reviews is to turn the customer into a repeat customer. Make this explicit by inviting them back to enjoy your services again.

    How Can a Business Limit Negative Reviews?

    While a bad review or two among a hundred is not the end of the world, many negative reviews are bad news for your business. Here are some tips for how to limit negative reviews.

    Let Customers Know That You Can Be Contacted Directly

    Let customers know they can contact you about their concerns. Be sure to give them your preferred contact method.

    For instance, if they have a complaint, they should call the office directly or fill out the “contact us” form online. Respond promptly to any feedback.

    Add a Complaint Form on Your Website

    The complaint form on your website should be easy to find and understand. It should include clear contact information for the correct person or department to reach out to based on the type of issue.

    Provide Excellent Customer Service

    Sometimes things will inevitably go wrong for your business, no matter how hard you try. Having great customer service can help take the sting out of a bad customer experience.

    Follow Up With Customers

    The best time to follow up with customers is immediately after a sale. Ask them how their experience was. If it was not great, find out why and see how you can make it better.

    Be Accessible on Social Media

    If an issue comes up, respond to it right away. If people know that you are responsive and there is a person behind the business, they may be more likely to pull their punches.

    Know What to Do if Something Goes Wrong

    When you receive a bad review – or even a flood of them – you need to have a plan in place. Having a game plan to address negative reviews can help prevent panicked or emotional responses.

    Do NOT Use Restrictive Contracts That Prohibit Clients From Leaving Reviews

    In recent years, a trend has emerged where medical professionals draft restrictive contracts that prohibit patients from leaving reviews and speaking about their medical experiences. While this practice has not yet fully been reviewed by U.S. courts, there is guidance suggesting that such restrictive covenants are not only unethical but unlawful.

    Furthermore, the Consumer Review Fairness Act prohibits sellers from restricting or prohibiting individuals from reviewing a sellers’ goods, conduct, or services, and penalizing individuals for such reviews.

    How Bad Reviews Can Help You Improve Your Business

    While negative reviews certainly feel crummy to you as a business owner, they can be viewed as a gift. Ultimately a few bad reviews can lead to a stronger company that is viewed more favorably by the outside world. There are a number of reasons why.

    Bad Reviews Can Be a Cause For Change

    Genuine bad reviews can provide constructive feedback and an opportunity to improve. Receiving direct, constructive feedback from your customers tells you what you are doing right and what you need to do better.

    Think of a genuine bad review as a chance to grow and adapt your business to best serve the needs of your clients.

    Bad Reviews Can Increase Trustworthiness

    Negative online reviews can make your business look more trustworthy. Consumers are suspicious of companies that only have positive reviews because we all know that no business can be perfect all the time.

    A few negative reviews may show that the company is legitimate and is not trying to suppress legitimate negative online reviews.

    Bad Reviews Can Humanize Your Business

    Receiving a bad review can humanize your business. Nobody is perfect. And nobody expects a business to be perfect either. What matters is how you respond when a negative experience occurs.

    Responding appropriately to a bad review shows your human side and could warm potential consumers to your business.

    Bad Reviews Can Provide an Opportunity to Show That You Care

    Hearing about negative experiences gives you a chance to make things right. When a customer writes a negative review, oftentimes they are just looking for an apology.

    Offering a heartfelt apology and solutions to fix the customer’s bad experience shows that you care about your business and your customers.

    Bad Reviews Can Provide a Complete Picture of Your Business

    Finally, bad reviews can highlight the positive ones. A few negative reviews can make all positive reviews stand out more. They also allow the consumer to “get the full picture” of your business before making any purchasing decisions.

    How Can Businesses Encourage Customers to Reverse Negative Reviews?

    There is no one way to compel customers to “reverse” or update negative reviews. If there were, there would be no negative reviews on the internet! You need to approach each review individually. Here are the steps we recommend following to help you reverse negative reviews.

    1. Reach out to the customer in a timely fashion. Most people expect to be responded to within a week of posting.
    2. Make sure your customer feels validated and heard. Do not brush off their concerns or respond with a generic or, worse yet, insulting response.
    3. Make amends. Try to turn your angry customer into a repeat customer by offering solutions, such as a refund or voucher for future services. Do not be afraid to ask the consumer what you can do to make things right.
    4. Make sure the customer is satisfied with your response to their problem.

    Once these four criteria are met, you may consider asking the customer for an updated review. Even then, there are no guarantees. Only about 30% of customers will reverse a negative review after engaging with the business.

    Even if despite your best efforts, a customer is unwilling to update a negative review, do not push it. Sometimes, it is best to just let it go and learn from the experience.

    Why It is Important to Listen to Customer Reviews of Your Business

    Understanding how your customers feel about your business – both the good and the bad – is vital to your business’s success.

    Hearing from your customers gives you a lot of valuable information about what you are doing right and what could use improvement. This lets you know where to focus your energy to further improve your product and services. It also lets you know when to congratulate your staff and yourself for doing a good job.

    Reviews also give you a sense of how satisfied your customers are. If you are seeing a string of bad reviews, that speaks volumes about the number of unsatisfied customers you have on your hands.

    Negative reviews also provide you and your business with the chance to make things right with your customers. Being open to the feedback you receive allows you to show your customers that you can learn from your mistakes and better serve them in the future.

    Finally, reviews can help you in making big business decisions. Perhaps you are consistently hearing from customers about a service that you are lacking or a flaw in your product. Understanding exactly what your clients want empowers you to focus energy on the most pressing issues and maximize the highest return on your investment.

    How Can Businesses Use a Negative Review as an Opportunity to Improve Their Service?

    Despite the sting of negative reviews, they are an opportunity to improve your business. Here is how.

    Negative reviews give you the chance to ensure that your customer service team is responding to clients’ negative experiences properly. Use the bad review as an opportunity to discuss with your team, in a non-judgmental way, how to best handle customer support issues in the future. If the review singles out a certain employee, make the chat a private one and discuss action steps for how to handle situations differently in the future.

    Negative reviews also allow you to improve your product or service. Use the feedback you receive to improve upon your product or service. Be sure to let your customers know the changes that you have made in response to their concerns.

    Finally, reviews are a great way to engage with your customers. By responding quickly and thoughtfully to customer feedback, you let your clients know that you are interested in their experiences and want to improve upon them. It also shows prospective customers that they will be heard and treated with respect.

    Minc Law Can Help Remove & Respond to Bad Online Reviews

    Negative and fake online reviews can have devastating impacts on you and your business. At Minc Law, dealing with defamatory online attacks is what we do. We have helped hundreds of businesses confront and remove defamatory consumer reviews from all types of online platforms.

    “Minc Law did an outstanding job on our case, particularly Daniel and his team. They guided us through the entire process of unveiling the individual who was defaming our business online, and then all the way through to getting a satisfactory settlement. They always returned calls and offered sound advice for whatever came up during our case. If I ever need these types of services again, I will definitely go to them first.”

    Contact us today to obtain a no-obligation consultation by calling us at (216) 373-7706, filling out our contact form, or speaking with a chat representative.

    Contact Minc Law

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