Bad reviews are not that bad!
Bad reviews can happen. It is a fact of life when owning and operating a business. How much they impact on that business will depend on how you deal with them.
Use this blog to guide you if you ever get a bad Google review. We suggest you read it then bookmark it away for future reference. Hopefully you never need to use it.
A bad review is not all bad.
It can actually be an opportunity for you to shine and show potential customers how professional you are. Here are our suggested steps for businesses to deal with a negative review. (From us/Google and other SEO specialists we hold in great regard)
1. Don't panic (Or lash out) ... it can be fixed, but only if you respond correctly and fast.
2. Take a minute to check the situation.
- It is from a customer? If so, this is a chance for you to review your processes and do a self reality check. If improvements to service can be made, don't beat yourself up about it. Everyone is on a journey, and this is a chance for you to take stock and see what is working, what is not, and adjust IF necessary.
If it is not from a customer (Sometimes competitors get nasty) then you can apply to have the review removed by Google. (Do it quick or talk to us about doing it for you!)
3. Respond Quickly
Remember, you’re not only calming down the reviewer, you’re showing everyone how you respond to customer dissatisfaction.
Regardless of the type of negative review you got, respond fast. Prompt action shows potential customers that you’re committed to customer service. Most people who read your reviews are folks interested in what you’ve got to sell. Yes you are trying to make the complaining customer happy, but to also assure future customers that the same issue won’t happen to them.
If someone left a fake review (Trumpism?) —i.e. they are not a customer or supplier.
- Address the complaint and apologize for their dissatisfaction
- Say that you can’t seem to find them in your records as having been a previous or current customer
- Offer to fix their situation and give them contact information
- Flag or report the review as fake (With Google)
*Even if you have flagged the review, people may still see it, or it may not be removed so you must ALWAYS respond. (No guarantees with Google!)
If someone wasn’t happy with your service/product:
- Address their complaint, and own up to it, even if it’s only half-true or 1 percent true.
- Don’t make excuses even if they are valid. It is just not a good look!
- If there is a legitimate reason why the service/product they received was perceived as sub-standard, be honest about it, and assure it won’t happen in the future.
- Offer to fix the problem (Even if it is getting nasty in real life, we recommend doing this to show others you are fair)
4. Stay on top of it.
Deal with the issue quickly and if it all works out ok, update the review with the outcome. If it is ending badly, don't worry as there is a great solution to solve a bad review. Read on...
5. THE MOST IMPORTANT. Get More reviews.
A bad review is drowned out by good ones. It's a fact. There has never been a more important time than now to get as many new reviews for your business on Google as you can. Good honest reviews from customers are best. Don't be tempted to whip up a few of your own from the same business location, IP address or Chrome browser. That is just plain asking for trouble.
Work hard and get lots of new reviews to drown out that 1 bad review. I have seen successful businesses with MANY bad reviews manage perfectly all because of how they dealt with them. They accepted that sometimes they cannot please everybody, and remained professional and timely when dealing with bad reviews. Customers understand that not everyone is the same and expect different things. (Motels and restaurants are perfect examples) E.g If a business has 20 great reviews and 2 bad ones, would you still consider using them? Maybe? It would depend on how it was dealt with right?
Check your Google profile. (You must have a Google My Business Listing to get Google reviews. Talk to us if you need one and our current special offers.
A bad Google review? We suggest you log into Google My Business and respond ASAP (Even if a review is old) Then get busy getting some new reviews to drown out the bad one.
No Reviews? Get Your Google review link and share with customers and others to enable so they can easily leave a review, this is a great opportunity for all of your team to help you create a more prominent Google profile. (Or to fix an issue)
Some reviews? You need more! Every review helps show others how fantastic you are.
Brand management is important for your local business. It is important to manage your current reviews and focus on getting new reviews for your business each month. And if you ever need help, we are only a phone call away.
Remember, bad reviews are not necessarily bad... as long as you manage them correctly!