How to Improve Your Online Reputation After Receiving Negative Reviews in 2021

At some point, a business will face an unhappy customer who will unfortunately leave a negative review. It’s inevitable and bound to happen at some point. A negative review can happen regardless of the quality of your work or how many people love your business. It is important that we understand how to respond to them well. Unfortunately, you can’t just ignore a bad review until it disappears. 

Responding to this type of feedback shows other customers you listen to and care for their concerns. Why? Responding to complaints can help increase consumer or client advocacy. Not responding to a negative online review decreases this type of advocacy.

With that being said, here are our recommendations on how to manage your company’s negative reviews:

Don’t Fear Negative Reviews

Fun fact: If all of your reviews are positive, they come off as fake. So when you have a few negative reviews throughout your review platform, people tend to trust your brand even more. Did you know that 52% of consumers trust a software product more if it has negative reviews? Statistics also argue that negative reviews can increase conversions by up to 85%.

That being said, what your negative reviews say only partially matters. What consumers will more likely be looking at is how you respond to and mitigate these reviews. 

How to Attract Customers w/ Your Response

Responding well to your negative reviews is as simple as “ABC”. Or really:

Appreciate the Feedback 

Negative reviews can be extremely valuable forms of market research. In a Wall Street Journal article, Steve Fuller, L.L. Bean’s chief marketing officer, spun negative reviews this way:

“Before, it would have taken us months and months to figure out if something was wrong with the product through returns, if we ever would have known at all.”

Taking the time to read your customer’s negative comment and let them know that you appreciate them making you aware of the issue they may have dealt with.

Be Empathetic 

Be understanding towards your customer’s experience since you never know fully what’s going on behind “closed doors” or so to speak. If expectations weren’t met, apologize rather than acting scorn. Empathy will be your key to connection which is essential when dealing with negative reviews.

Care for the Customer

Finally, just as any experienced restaurant manager would seek to make amends for a bad experience, so should you look to rectify a bad review online.

Contact or respond to negative reviewers to offer a peace agreement. If a food critic didn’t like your service, ask them to come in and try again at a discount.

At the end of the day, getting bad reviews does suck.

But you can use these reviews for your benefit in the long run.

So long as you respond quickly, gracefully, and follow up for a testimonial, you can actually make negative reviews work for (rather than against) you.

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