Oh no! You have negative business reviews on Google or another review platform! Relax, and take a deep breath. While no one wants a negative review, businesses are made up of people…and people are not perfect. Someone can have a bad day and misunderstandings can happen, as can a bad hire or staff turnover. There’s also the occasional “customer from hell.” What do you do? We’ll cover a few reasons why a negative business review can actually be turned into something positive, and then provide you with specific steps for how to handle one when it happens.
First of all, never assume that something good can’t come from a bad review. It absolutely can. It's all about perspective and choice. Here's how you can turn a negative review into something positive for your business in the long run:
How a Negative Review Can Actually Benefit Your Business
Having a few negative reviews can make your business appear more authentic and trustworthy to potential customers. If all of your reviews are overwhelmingly positive, it may seem like they have been artificially inflated, and customers may be skeptical.
Opportunities for Improvement
Negative reviews can provide valuable feedback that can help you identify areas where you can improve your business. By addressing these issues, you can improve the overall customer experience and potentially prevent similar issues from arising in the future.
Customer Service Opportunities
Responding to negative reviews provides an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to excellent customer service. By addressing the customer's concerns and offering a solution, you can show potential customers that you care about their experience and are willing to go above and beyond to make things right.
When you respond to negative reviews professionally and effectively, it can increase your credibility and reputation with potential customers. It shows that you take customer feedback seriously and are committed to providing excellent service.
Having a few negative reviews can actually give you a competitive advantage over businesses that have no negative reviews. It shows that you are transparent and honest about your business and that you are confident enough to address any issues that arise.
Second, How to Respond to a Negative Review
Regardless of how much of a positive spin we put on it, receiving negative reviews, especially on your Google Business Profile (GBP), can be frustrating. It's important to handle them well. You still need specific strategies for what to do when you get one. Here are tips for handling negative reviews in a competent manner that seeks to solve the problem AND create the opportunity to turn a negative customer into a raving fan:
It's important to respond to negative reviews promptly to show that you value your customers' feedback and are committed to addressing their concerns. Responding within 24-48 hours is ideal.
Stay Calm and Professional
When responding to negative reviews, it's important to remain calm and professional, even if the review is particularly harsh or unfair. Avoid becoming defensive or argumentative, and focus on addressing the customer's concerns.
Apologize and Offer a Solution
A sincere apology can go a long way in addressing a customer's concerns. Offer a solution or a way to make things right, such as a discount on a future purchase or a refund.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Your response should be short and to the point, addressing the customer's concerns while avoiding getting into too much detail or making excuses.
Take the Conversation Offline
If the issue is particularly complex or sensitive, it may be best to take the conversation offline. Provide a phone number or email address where the customer can contact you directly to discuss the issue further.
Learn from the Feedback
Negative reviews can provide valuable feedback that can help you improve your business. Use the feedback to identify areas where you can improve and make changes to prevent similar issues from arising in the future.
Remember that negative reviews are an opportunity to show your customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent customer service. By handling negative reviews professionally and effectively, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one. And that’s good news!