Businesses work hard to obtain customers, increase product lines or services, and manage profits, so they can continue to grow. With all the effort needed to keep a business afloat, many don’t realize the impact of bad online reviews – until it’s too late! According to the business magazine, Inc.com, “91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.”
Today’s consumers are tech-savvy. And when it comes to your new customers, more than likely they first checked their mobile device or laptop to read reviews posted to Facebook, Google, or Yelp. What happens when they come across a few (or a slew of) bad reviews? It can drive away potential customers, damage your company’s reputation, and have an irreversible affect on your bottom line.
Here we discuss ways to protect or improve your company’s reputation and how to manage and remove bad reviews.
Flip the Script on Negative Reviews
Sometimes the best way to remove bad review is to acknowledge the problem and offer a solution to the complaining customer. If you’ve read enough Amazon product reviews of unsatisfied customers, you will find negative reviews that are reversed because the company acknowledged and corrected the issue. The best way to flip the script on a negative review is to listen to the complaint and go out of your way to make it right.
Don’t ignore a bad review. Instead, overwhelm the customer with a positive experience. Make sure your customer service team members are kind to complaining consumers. Once you’ve won them back over, ask if they will update their posted review to a more favorable one. Most of the time, the customer is willing to accept a company’s mistake when they respond with a courteous and genuine solution.
Overcome Negative Reviews with Positive Content
Even the best companies can experience periods of negative customer perception. A shipment of lower-quality products, a local operation that hires inexperienced sales reps, a broken refrigeration system or air conditioning unit, and any number of innocent and unforeseeable mistakes can occur – in the blink of an eye. When companies face a sustained period of negative reviews that are reported, posted, or otherwise spread, the best solution may be a business and/or personal reputation fixer.
These companies specialize in overcoming negative online information with positive content. This content can include the following reputation-building strategies:
- Mass posting of positive social media comments and images online
- Informative content (blogs and articles) to position you as an expert
- Issuing press releases to publicize new business ventures or create brand awareness
- Constant monitoring of your online presence to respond quickly to negativity
In short, your website, blogs, and active social media presence can all be positioned in such a positive way that they can effectively bury negative reviews – at least to the point where they don’t show up on the first few pages of business search.
How to Remove Bad Reviews
Here again, you may need help getting online giants like Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, etc. to remove bad reviews, but it can be done, This is especially true for fake reviews. After you bury most of the negative content with positivity, then partner with a service that can monitor your online presence and track down negative reviews, you may still need to deal with a few outstanding content sources that are negative toward your business, product, or service.
Here you may need to stop allowing the consumer to take free shots. The best path is to respond to your critics with an attempt to change their hearts and minds. Contact the reviewer or contact the reporting site to discuss the issue and offer your solution. Depending on the site, this can be a time-consuming proposition, but it’s what reputation-building service providers do, all day long working to remove your bad reviews.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.