Dealing With a Bad Review that Attracts Too Much Attention
Whoever penned the old adage about sticks and stones breaking bones, and words not having the power to hurt, obviously has never been the victim of a bad online review. Words can hurt. They can leave your confidence in tatters, your team’s morale trampled to dust, and they can send potential clientele sprinting towards the competition.
1. Start with a big, deep breath
You may be tempted to respond defensively, launching a full-scale war between you and your reviewer. Don’t. This will just bring greater attention to your less-than-stellar review. Plus, it will make you look unprofessional and petty.
Instead, take some time to examine the situation objectively and devise a tactical approach.
2. Try to fix the problem
You need to try to look at things from the reviewer’s perspective. It may be a hard pill for you to swallow, but they may have had a horrible experience when dealing with your company and you need to make things right. Your company’s online reputation is at stake.
Take ownership of any wrongdoings on your company’s behalf and apologize. This will help diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand. Find out what it would take to make this dissatisfied customer a satisfied one, and take measures to accomplish this. You may never win back this individual’s future business, but it will prevent this review from attracting more attention. And your willingness to admit your mistake and fix it will impress everyone who is watching the interaction online.
Yes, a negative review handled properly can become great advertising for your business!
3. Bury it
You can’t please everyone all the time–and some people are never pleased any of the time. If the composer of your bad review is impossible to work with, you may need to take another approach. One viable option is to barrage the internet with good stuff about your company and take the focus off of this one measly negative review.
Here are a few ways to bury that pesky review in great content.
● Encourage your many happy customers to post reviews of their own.
● If you don’t have a company website, launch one. This will help you take ownership of your own domain and better manage customer complaints.
● Start a blog. Fill it with great industry-related content penned by either yourself or a verbally gifted member of your staff.
● Open social media accounts on your business’s behalf. Collect “likes” on a corporate Facebook page, send brief tweets on Twitter, showcase new products on Pinterest, and publish how-to videos on Youtube. And definitely join LinkedIn, the social media platform favored by fellow professionals.
● Compose guest blogs for high-profile blogs related to your industry.
4. Call it a learning experience
You can’t turn back the clock and undo what has been done, so you might as well learn from it. A valid bad review can make you aware of your company’s shortcomings and prevent you from making the same mistake twice. Remember, if this person had a bad experience, odds are that others did, too. At least the reviewer gave you an opportunity to correct it.
As you can see, by following a few simple steps, you can conquer a bad review and restore your gleaming online reputation. It all comes down to the power of words and your ability to get them working for you.
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Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger. Her neurotic tendencies compel her to check her online reputation out regularly; however, her thin skin and need for constant approval tells her not to.