When you Google ‘The best place(s) for ________’ – how do you think the results are displayed?
You might not have given this much thought, well Google takes reviews from listings within that search category and presents results that have an overall star rating above 4 (on a scale of 1 to 5). If your rating is below a 4/5 – you are not displayed, period. Meaning, you are missing out on potential searches and are missing out on potential business.
The importance of third-party reviews cannot be underestimated. Customer reviews outline who you are as a business/individual, how you treat your customers and the quality of your product or service. Naturally, positive reviews reap positive benefits for a company. Vice versa, negative reviews can result in a loss of reputation, loss of sales and require strategic damage control.
Negative reviews are everywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blockbuster movie, a record-breaking song or the Great Wall of China (which only has a 4.2 / 5 on Google), there is someone out there who didn’t resonate with the product or experience and has shared that distaste online.
And unfortunately for business, studies indicate that negative reviews have more influence over other customers than positive ones. This is due to a person’s need to feel secure in their decision-making process. We use our peers’ negative reviews to understand our own risk of purchase and reduce our chance of loss.
Luckily, successfully resolving and addressing your bad reviews doesn’t require a large PR campaign. It just requires you to follow the below list.
Here’s how to Recover Your Reputation from Bad Reviews:
- Learn from the situation.
Think of bad reviews as a free market research tool. There is no such thing as a bad one, only a failure to respond accordingly. Analyse your bad reviews, look for common problems that customers are encountering, and create an actionable plan to address them. Being seen as fixing the problem is just as powerful to customers as any bad review itself.
- Respond to every review.
When someone has gone to the effort to leave a bad review, they have often been pushed to a breaking point that is difficult to come back from. While responding to the review might not bring them back as a customer, consider this – your response to the negative review isn’t for the person who left the comment. It is for the rest of the world who reads it after. Be empathetic and create a personalised response to the individual. Taking the necessary steps to rectify the situation will improve your reputation with your consumers. And by all means, try to correct the issue offline with the individual who left the bad review.
- Be open and transparent when responding.
If you made a mistake, own it, don’t shy away from it. Address your error and go through in detail the steps you are taking to prevent it from happening to anyone in the future – including the person who left the review. After all, we’re all humans who make mistakes and we like to see that the company/person responding to the review is just like us.
- Constantly monitor your reviews.
The internet is ground zero for complaining. If you aren’t actively monitoring what is said about you online, you allow others to dictate your brand image. The sooner you can address the negative review, the sooner you can resolve the situation and the review might just disappear. To easily monitor your reviews, set up a Google Alert notification for your business name keyword.
- Narrate your own story.
Negative reviews can change the perception about who you are as a company and what you represent. By overshadowing these reviews with some positivity, you can discredit some of its power. Be active on the internet and social media to make sure that the world sees who you really are as a company and all the good you do. Testimonials on your website are another example of helping to tell your own story.
- Fix your fake reviews.
Fake reviews happen, whether it is from people who weren’t actually customers, or unfortunately, competitors looking to discredit your business. However, there are options to resolve these fake reviews, particularly when it comes to the Google platform. As the requirements are constantly changing, here is a direct hyperlink to help you solve your fake reviews and stay on top of Google’s requirements.
You can’t please everyone. Even the Grand Canyon only received a 4.8/5 star rating. But, you also can’t allow your business to be swayed by a couple of jackals who had a bad experience. Adapt your customer strategies accordingly, find where you went wrong and address them publicly. You may just find that these negative reviews won’t hold as much power as they did before.
In summary, here are various methods through which you can recover your reputation from bad reviews:
1) Learn from the situation
2) Respond to every review
3) Be open and transparent when responding
4) Constantly monitor your reviews
5) Narrate your own story
6) Fix your fake reviews
RECOMMENDED READING If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper why not check out the following posts on Reviews and how they can help grow your business. - Six Tips For Building A Personal Brand As A Recruiter - 10 Customer Review Stastics You Might Not Know - Six Tips For Building A Personal Brand As A Recruiter - How Customer Reviews Impact Google's Search Results