We say that one of the worst possible things to find on the Internet is probably a bad review about your business.
But, don't panic!
You can't make an omelette without a few broken eggs, so negative reviews don't define your business.
In this blog, you will learn about how you should be dealing with negative Google reviews.
Have you heard or seen this before?
"Worst retail shop. EVER!"by Dissatisfied Customers
"The staff were rude, arrogant and unfriendly. Don't shop there!"
"Dry and undercooked food. I would leave negative star ratings if I could"
Even among a sea of good reviews, one bad review can feel like the end of the world for a lot of business owners - especially when they haven't had to deal with it before.
But here's the kicker, even the most well-known brands aren't immune to getting the occasional bad review.
Over 93% of millennial searching for you prefer to read these reviews before they even consider shopping with you or going to your restaurant.
And a shocking 94% of these people will avoid trading with businesses that have negative reviews.
And because we are an SEO company, we know that the implications of these negative reviews actually factor in to how well you're ranking on Google's Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
How much exactly?
Review signals account for 10.3% of your overall ranking factors.
But alas, don't be afraid.
If you truly trust in your business, and you're just getting the occasional negative review, then it won't necessarily affect you too much.
The only time you should be concerned is when majority of the reviews are bad - in which case, we suggest looking inwards.
Let's move on from that, though.
You've gotten one bad review, now what?
Part of our SEO services include analysing how businesses react to these negative comments.
And now, while responding to the review might not really do much to rectify the impact on your SEO - the way you respond to it determines not just these customers perception of you, but also the future prospects that will read these reviews.
In short terms, don't be that person that hurls insults at people giving their honest opinion about your business.
This is no way to get these customers back on your side, and plus, you'll scare all the new ones off as well.
And while the seemingly safest and easiest option is just to 'let it be' - leaving those remarks with no replies only means that you don't have a chance to change this person's mind, or to show future customers that you care about improving your products or services.
The correct way to respond is to apologise.
Show the customer that you care about their feedback, and that you'll continue improving to hopefully keep their business in the future.
This means you might potentially have the unsatisfied customer returning, and you'll also have new potential customers coming to you due to your professionalism.
What are the stats?
- 54% of people do online local searches on Smartphone.
- 55% of these people take a conversion call within an hour and 84% after 5 hours.
- Every positive star rating brings you 9% of increase in revenue.
- 52% of customers expect a reply within 7 days of their writing, 1 in 4 expects in 3 days, while 24 people wants the response in a day.
- 78% of people fall for the business who responds to them believing that the company cares for its consumers.
In the world of business, it is expected that despite your best efforts, you'll always have someone somewhere leaving a bad review.
And as a business owner, you need to handle this with a lot of patience and care.
There is a very thin line between getting back to the customers and managing your reputation.
Everyone knows that piling on the positive feedback from customers is the road to success,
but to take even more of an edge, you must also be responding well to the negative ones.
Why do you receive the negative reviews?
You think your business is doing great, but you suddenly get a bad review on your wall, page or website.
- Customers might be having a bad day
- A sneaky competitor might be doing it
- Customer is prone to leaving unconstructive remarks (i.e. The Classic Internet Troll)
So, you got a bad Google Review on the page. Now, what?
- Convince the customer with logical reason
The first thing you should focus on when you receive a negative review is how to retain the customer.
If you are a large or small business, losing a customer can harm you both financially and through your reputation.
You should aim to provide the solution their after as soon as possible.
Calmly address their complaints and inform them how you can resolve the primary issue.
After you've resolved the issue and have yourself a happy customer, you can potentially ask them to revise, remove or update their original review.
A customer can at any time do these actions on their reviews and change their ratings - and usually most reviewers are ready to do so if they're satisfied with the business' response.
2. Understanding Google's policies - Flag violated, fake or incorrect review
Customer- 1 star rating
"I ordered a desktop for myself.
First it took longer to come than expected and now it crashes after every download.
I thought maybe the condition of desktop will make up for the late delivery. But it just made me more furious."
IT Service Business- "Hi 'customer name'
We are sorry to hear about your computer's delivery and functionality problems. J
ust to inform you, we aren't actually the company that deals with desktops or delivery. We are 'TechnoSpa' an IT services company.
But perhaps, we could help you solve the glitches.
Let us know.
Now this is where a false and irrelevant customer came and mistook you for someone else.
Violations can be any of the following-
- Reviews with violent, hateful or inappropriate remarks
- Irrelevant or off-topic
- Reviews that are spam
- Reviews that has advertising context.
These comments tarnish your brand image without any fault to do with you.
Make sure that you're taking action as promptly as possible.
Understand the Google policies, read them well and tag the flag to the review.
If things don't go well and the review is not brought down contact the support associates.
3. Lower the bad reviews with masses of positive reviews and ratings.
From our experience, it's a lot easier for people to leave bad reviews that good ones.
Due to a heightened emotional state - they simply don't care about your solutions anymore or any ramifications to your business.
But what you need to understand here is that a negative review in the 100 positive reviews will never be noticed or given much attention.
So, the idea is to keep reviews flooded with happy customers. And how do you do that? YOU ASK THEM!
As a SEO & digital services provider in Melbourne, we encourage a lot of our clients to get reviews from their happy customers.
However, sometimes they are simply too busy.
Rather than pestering them day in and day out into leaving you a review, you should try to schedule some time in every month to collect reviews from various customers.
And try to understand that customers usually prefer different methods of communication - so try to make reviewing easier for them.
This might be including a link to your page and sending your message through text or email, and so forth.
4. Reply quickly!
One way to keep on top of things is setting out a time in the day where you can look through reviews and reply.
This will allow you to resolve issues quickly, and reduces the impact that any negative review may have.
Keep a reminder of when the review comes, by allowing your system to create a notification.
5. Reply correctly
Customer: "Your management wasn't working in coordination with our family"
Business: "We apologise, but we tried our best to serve you.
Maybe there was congestion from your side, and you didn't inform us in time so things couldn't be arranged promptly."
A big no! Don't play the blame game.
Any customer or the spectators would dislike the company for just defending the accusation and not resolving it.
There are ways to reply to your customers:
- Avoid writing to people when you aren't in the mood. Don't let emotions taint your response.
- Hundreds and thousands and more of customers are going to read it, so be realistic and add thought to it.
- Thanks them for doing the favour of taking out time and reviewing your service.
- Be precise, kind, short and concise in response.
- Stand for what's right and take the ownership for your business and service. Customers look forward to such strong dedication.
- Don't bribe the customers with freebies and extras. It seems you are hiding your flaws behind 'superficial' offers.
6. Change the style of working in the business.
It's dangerous for any business to be too resistant to changes. For them, a single negative review won't influence them to change the types of services they offer or to adopt new ones. But that's not how any business should work - especially digital companies. Show your customers that you'll listen to them by adapting your services to suit their needs more.
7. Fight reviews with humour
Fighting fire with fire isn't necessarily the way to go - especially on social media.
More often that not you'll come across as rude or impolite.
Some of the best responses that we've seen involve humour.
This isn't to say you're meant to degrade the commenter or reviewer - but simply acknowledge the issue, but try to reduce the tension within posts.
Whatever it is, a smart tactics or a fun strategy, just make sure you have addressed the negative feedback, and tried to put your business in the best light possible.
Don't let your business' reputation crumble due to a few bad reviews.
View it as an opportunity to adapt and modify your business to be even better for your customers.
And remember, it'll be impossible to please everybody - but you should still try set the record straight when it comes to these negative reviews.