Oct 22 How to Handle Negative Reviews
In one of my recent blog posts, I touched on the idea of social review tools and how much I believe in the idea of customer reviews. It sparked a fair amount of conversation about the power of reviews, especially negative reviews. I sort of touched on a similar topic when I wrote this blog post on how to deal with negative blog comments, however, negative reviews are a different kind of animal.
In order to illustrate a few best practices for negative reviews, Iâ€™ll use a personal example. My parents own a restaurant, which is, of course, subject to the reviews of customers online on sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor. Recently, my mother pointed out a post that had been left by a somewhat disgruntled customer who was upset about their policy of a mandatory 20% tip on meals paid for with a gift certificate. She wondered what the impact of this review might be, since potential customers were reading it.
Trust The Readers
The thing about negative reviews is that you canâ€™t always tell your side of the story online. Some sites allow you to respond to bad reviews, but not all. Most of the time youâ€™ll just have to sit with those bad reviews and trust that the people reading them will be able to tell the difference between one cheap guest that didnâ€™t want to tip correctly and a poorly performing restaurant.
Delete When Necessary
Although Iâ€™m not going to skip a restaurant just because one person didnâ€™t like their server, if someone claims to have, I donâ€™t know, gotten Salmonella there, I certainly wonâ€™t be visiting. If anything that someone posts borders on slander and could really impact your sales, then donâ€™t be afraid to contact the administrators of the site to make your case. Donâ€™t let things slide just because you donâ€™t want to seem like a stage mother. If the administrators think youâ€™re out of line, theyâ€™ll let you know.
Strengthen Your Stomach
Itâ€™s difficult to read negative reviews of your product, but studies have shown that even bad reviews improve sales. Although you might be concerned that people will think badly of your product, negative reviews actually give you the credibility of transparency. Consumers love that.
The bottom line is, customers are extremely savvy. You donâ€™t have to manipulate reviews to make your product look good. If itâ€™s good, reviews will be good. Period.