It is not uncommon for a business to receive a negative online review on sites like Google, Yelp, or Facebook which damage your reputation. But, responding correctly allows you to stand out as a business that truly cares about its reputation and can help you turn the negative situation into a positive experience for your public image. A proper response can motivate the reviewer to improve their rating which can also have positive benefits on your local SEO. We have worked with many clients who have received negative reviews who were able to turn them into positive situations.
When responding to negative reviews online, it is key that you think about it from the perspective of a future customer reading it online. Maintaining a strong online reputation is key for businesses to succeed in the digital age. Taking the time to quickly respond to negative reviews, sympathize with the customer, and put your top notch customer service in full display will impress potential new customers. In many cases, the way you respond to a negative review actually builds your own brand since neutral people reading it online will focus on the commitment you had to make it right to the customer.
Great responses to negative reviews should apologize to the customer, explain that your company holds itself to higher standards than they experienced, and offer them an incentive to give your business another try. This can be done by offering a free product, meal, or service or a special discount. Showing customers that you genuinely care about their experience goes a long way and will help build you a strong reputation.
Responding properly to negative online reviews will make a strong impression on new potential customers who will immediately see how much your business cares about customer satisfaction. Oftentimes, customers will update their review after speaking with you and may even develop a very high opinion of your establishment.
Also, not responding properly can damage your reputation. Not responding at all will leave you with an unexplained poor review which will not only bring down your overall ratings, it will also show new potential customers that you didn't take the time to make it right. Even worse, a poorly crafted response that simply blames a customer and does not offer to further assist the customer to make it right, will turn off readers and make them significantly less likely to work with you.
When people are searching for what businesses to work with, a huge percentage of people go to Google. They are likely to come across your Google MyBusiness Profile which displays your Google reviews. If a customer sees that you have many great reviews, they are very likely to believe that you are an established, credible business that will provide a great customer experience. Keeping your online ratings high on other online sites like Facebook, Yelp, and dozens of other directories is also important, because many customers might find you on those sites or do further research and discover your profiles on those sites.
By establishing credibility and a strong commitment to quality customer service, a company with great online ratings is significantly more likely to motivate potential customers into taking the next step and patronizing your business.
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