Some of the most heavily search terms by business owners relate to dealing with and responding to negative reviews. This makes perfect sense because studies show that a single increase or decrease in a star for a company’s average rating can mean a 8% to 12% increase or decrease in revenue.
In this post we are going to take a look at the major review sites and what the best way is to go about addressing complaints, responding to bad reviews and improving less than desirable average star ratings.
The Primary Strategy
There are many business owners that search for ways to remove bad reviews. Unfortunately there isn’t a simple way to do this. The individual who actually wrote it is the one that will have to correct it. That brings us to the best and easiest strategy you can use to respond to a negative review.
First, ensure that you have corrected whatever issue the individual wrote the complaint about. Next, write a polite note one the review platform. Let them know that you apologize for the inconvenience and your business has taken corrective measures. Most platforms allow you to do this and it will show up below the complaint. Finally, attempt contact the individual directly and ask them nicely to edit the bad review in light of the information and corrective measures you have taken.
The next part of this strategy should be taken regardless of whether or not you were able to contact the reviewer. This should already be your company’s practice but it seems as though it rarely is or not implemented correctly. You want to drowned out any negative reviews with positive ones. In a perfect world you wouldn’t have any and you would just be collecting positive ratings. However, we know that people are 9 times more likely to leave a complaint than telling people online about their positive experience.
By politely asking your customers for a review on their preferred platform you can start to generate a large number of positive reviews. You will need to make sure that you have corrected any issues that lead to problems in the past to avoid any future problems, but this strategy will allow you to quickly increase your average star rating across many different platforms like Yelp, Google and Facebook.
5 Tips for Responding to Negative Reviews
How To Respond To a Bad Yelp Review
This is one of the most heavily search terms by business owners and for good reason. One bad rating and comment can send business plummeting. So let’s take a look at how to address this potential pitfall. Below you will see an example of a bad review.
On Yelp you are able to contact the individual directly by clicking on their name and then clicking on the Send a Message link in the upper right hand corner of the page. The first thing this restaurant would want to do is to correct the criticisms made. They will need to take a look at their processes and improve upon them.
The next step would be to contact Sarah and send her a message like this:
We appreciate you recently giving our restaurant a try. We are very happy you enjoyed the Guacamoly, you found our facilities clean and our staff was happy and accommodating. We were very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the taco shells and that your meat was a little dry. We have corrected these problems by doing ______________. We would greatly appreciate you giving us another chance and coming in for a dinner on the house. Please let me know when the next chance is that you will be able to come in and dine with us.”
Now all that is left to do is wow the individual when they come in and at the end of the meal, or a few days afterwards, politely ask them to edit their review.
This strategy can work across a wide range of different industries and the process can also work the same. A restaurant scenario is probably the hardest because you need them to come back in and eat. For other types of businesses it may be as simple as giving them a coupon for their next order.
How To Get Rid of Bad Google Reviews
Google business reviews should be looked at as the most important of all online sentiment about your business. Most people when going to a business for the first time search for directions on Google Maps. When they see the company’s address they also see their star rating. If you have a very poor overall rating you can bet that the new prospective customer or client is going to think twice and will probably look for an alternative.
One strategy that many businesses do not utilize is responding to both negative and positive reviews. When a customer gives your business a positive rating you can write a comment below theirs thank them for their kind remarks. This builds your reputation for customer satisfaction and increased activity is a ranking signal to Google.
Just like with Yelp, a business cannot remove a negative review themselves. You will have to deploy the outreach strategy. Google is a little tougher because you cannot contact the individual directly. Chances are that you will have them in your customer database. If this is not the case you can do a little research. If they have an uncommon name it will be easy. If they have a pretty common one you can narrow it down by location by clicking on their name.
The easiest way to contact them at that point is through Facebook. The same strategy for dealing with a negative Yelp review can be applied to Google Reviews.
How To Get Rid of Bad Reviews on Facebook
Facebook is probably the easiest of all 3. When there is a review left on your Facebook Page you will receive a notification in your activity feed. Facebook is great because people generally can’t hide behind fake profiles. On a side note if you suspect a review to be left from a fake profile you can report it on any of these platforms.
You will see who has left the rating and you can easily contact them and utilize the outreach strategy. Be sincere and explain exactly what you have done for corrective measures. Let them know how much you appreciative their business and that you would like a second chance. People want to know that their opinion matters.
Positive business reviews on sites like Facebook, Google and Yelp can be a huge help to your bottom line. However one or 2 negative reviews can have a catastrophic effect. Make sure you are continuously monitoring what is being said about your company online. If a bad review does arise you now have the perfect strategy for handling it.