The Internet has become a must-have. It makes our lives easier and gives us the tools we need to research and find information with just a few clicks of a button. However, it also gives people the platform to write what they want to, which can be both good and bad. Because more and more people turn to writing reviews for businesses online nowadays, businesses have had to think about how to best respond to the reviews that are coming in about them. Unfortunately, bad reviews happen occasionally, and your response makes all the difference.
Online Reputation Management.
Bad reviews happen at one point or another. The question is: how will you respond to it? Your response can either elevate your business reputation, or it can destroy it. If you see a negative review about your business online, read it thoroughly. Try not to get defensive, but instead try to view it from the person’s perspective who wrote the review. And remember, according to a Harvard Business Review study found that when a business responds to an online review - positive or negative - their ratings actually improve!
"By monitoring and responding to reviews, a manager can make sure that when negative reviews come in — as they inevitably will — they can respond constructively and maybe even raise their firm’s rating along the way." ~ Davide Proserpio
Know how you’ll respond.
Always address the reviewer - by name if possible. The reviewer is someone who wants to be heard.
Express empathy, and if the situation warrants do apologize. A family hiring a nanny or senior caregiver is already under emotional stress and a disappointment, whether your fault or not, can trigger overblown reactions. Stop and think about how you can come up with a solution that can solve the problem that is professional and fair. Keep in mind that your primary goal should be to find a resolution, not to simply prove your point.
Don't shy away from including a bit of marketing in your response. You want to illustrate what your clients typically experience, so you can include something to the effect "We are proud of our reputation for stellar matches, and regret that in this case we did not meet your expectations." DO NOT mention your business name in these responses as you do not want this negative review showing up in Google searches if at all possible.
Keep your response from the sidelines short, sweet and empathetic – don’t be tempted to jump into the mud with the writer. Take it offline if you can by asking if you can talk to them on the phone or provide your e-mail address to help them discuss in further detail what went wrong. By responding in this way, it will usually put an end to the review thread and keep spectators away, spectators that are looking for drama. If you don’t get a response from the writer that day, wait another day or two and reach out to them again to show that you are willing to work with them to solve the problem.
Even if you have received a low blow in the form of a negative online review, you can take the high road and do your part in responding with the utmost professionalism. Doing so can make your business stand apart!