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MONTEREY, CA – Everyone has an opinion. Unfortunately, the people most willing to share theirs online are often the ones with a problem when it comes to a business. Even worse, online reviewing sites have increasing visibility in search engine results. A negative review might appear in SERPs before a business’ actual website when that business is searched! Assuming these reviews are legitimate, there are basically two ways that a business could respond – gracefully or with retaliation.
If someone found a negative review of their business on a site like Yelp, which allows for a management response, the first impulse might be to aggressively come back at the reviewer. These can be seen all over social review sites – business owners insulting, berating and otherwise slamming the reviewer for their bad attitude, incompetence, etc. But while it may feel great to type out and make public, a business owner would be doing themselves a disservice by falling into the trap of a vindictive management response.
These days, a negative review can actually be an opportunity for a business to show that it cares about it’s customers. The response one should shoot for is one that paints a business as apologetic of any issues a client may have had, and a willingness to not only show improvement, but to also publicly offer a customer some sort of compensation for their grievance. This approach will signal that not only is the business cognizant of it’s online reputation, it is also willing to do whatever it takes to provide excellent customer service and make things right with a customer that is feeling that they weren’t put first.
All in all, negative reviews can be painful for a business struggling to increase their profile online. What are some of your tactics when faced with a public-facing negative review?