Managing Online Reviews
You open your email and find a note saying “____ left a 1 star review”. What do you do?
It’s commonly a joke in the online world that you’ve “made it” once you have “haters”. Meaning that as soon as you are big or important enough to have people that will take time out of their day to say something negative, you know you are on the right track. Well, to an extent. If everyone and their dog is writing a bad review, or has something awful to say about your business, then I would take a look at some things. BUT, today we are talking about how to manage those online reviews that aren’t a perfect score.
What went wrong?
First things first, look into the persons concern. Was it poor service that needs to be addressed with an employee? Did they not receive the product they asked for and it needs to be fixed? Is it an ex employee that feels they weren’t treated fairly? Once a negative review comes in, it may be an opportunity to A) help change their minds or B) improve processes/products. Figure out what went wrong and address the concern offline to the best of your abilities.
Respond to the reviewers request in a timely manner. This doesn’t have to be done within hours of the review, especially if something is being sorted out. If it is being sorted out offline, still respond to the review afterwards explaining the resolution. This will help show people reading the review that you care and can come to a solution. Be professional at all costs. Getting into a keyboard war with someone online, will not help anyone.
SOME negative reviews is a good thing
Now hold on a minute, I know this one seems a little counter productive, but there is a bright side to a negative review. Like said above, it shows other people that are reading the reviews you care and are willing to make it right for the customer/employee. This shows that regardless of your company size you take the time to look at what’s not working and what you can do to fix it.
Additionally the odd negative review makes you actually look more credible in the eyes of those looking at reviews. It’s nice and all when you come across a company online with a wonderful rating review, but something seems off when you have a lot of full 5 star reviews. Imagine you were looking for a hotel online. You come across a couple options that fit well and are the same price. You take to the reviews to make your final decision. Hotel “A” has 50 reviews total with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. They have had a couple unhappy people, but otherwise people are generally happy with their stay. You come across Hotel “B” and it has 50 reviews total and every single one of them is a 5 star review. Would you suspect that “something’s up” maybe? How could a whole hotel get it right EVERY SINGLE TIME? I know I certainly would be questioning. In 2014 it was estimated that 10-15% of reviews are purchased! Which is HUGE no no when it comes to your SEO. If you get caught, google will remove ALL reviews and penalize your site showing up in searches!
So do not panic when you come across a negative review online for your business. Managing a bad review can sometimes even be a blessing!