Negative reviews and feedback for a small business can have a greater impact today than ever before due to the increased use and accessibility of the Internet. Unfortunately, one negative review can turn consumers away, but with the right proactive approach, negative reviews don’t need to have a huge impact on your business and can even be viewed in a positive light by incorporating the following into your reputation management campaign.
- Confirm the legitimacy of the claim. Unfortunately, some do attempt to make other businesses look bad for personal gain, so first confirm the legitimacy of any negative feedback you receive. If you verify it’s a false statement, some sites provide a means to refute the claim and have it removed.
- Respond immediately. It’s important to have a system in place so you know what’s being said about you on the Internet on a regular basis, and it’s particularly important to respond to negative feedback right away to help mitigate any damage. Consumers appreciate knowing you take their concerns seriously.
- Be honest and forthright. If you’ve made a mistake, admit it, apologize and do whatever you can to mitigate it. Again, consumers appreciate honesty, and many do understand mistakes happen. The sooner you deal with it, the higher your chances are of retaining that customer.
- Learn from it. When there’s merit to negative reviews and feedback, take it and learn from it. Where can you better improve processes or procedures to prevent the issue from happening again?
- Ask for positive reviews. Ask all happy customers for positive reviews online. Positive reviews push negative reviews down in the search engine rankings so they’re less likely to be viewed or impact your overall ranking.
It’s unfortunate that you can have several positive reviews, but all it takes is one negative review to spread quickly and impact a consumer’s opinion of you or your business. But with the right approach, you can turn a negative review around and use it as a positive for your business in addition to mitigating any damage it could cause.
About The Guest Author: Chris Marentis writes from experience about lead generation, closing the sale and leveraging social media. He is the founder and CEO for a local internet marketing company Surefire Social, a resource for local search marketing.