Following on from our recent blog about review sites we spotted the following coverage in the news this week:
Purplebricks has been accused of “corporate bullying” by the operators of a consumer review website that the online estate agent has threatened to sue. Allagents, which lists consumers’ reviews of estate agents, said that it had taken the “unprecedented step” of suspending the Purplebricks account on its site after receiving a legal letter over negative reviews that it was hosting. The Times 19 September 2017.
Many businesses fear negative reviews and the damaging effect they may have on their reputation but as we can see, threatening legal action is an extreme reaction which appears only to have highlighted the problems Purplebricks are encountering.
How you respond to any negative reviews you receive says as much about your business as the way you respond to the positive reviews. It is the key to showing customers and potential customers that you value them and care about their feedback. Handled well, negative reviews can provide an ideal platform to demonstrate your commitment to customer service and as a result build a positive brand reputation.
Here are our 10 top tips on handling negative reviews
- Track reviews. Be aware of and monitor sites relevant to your business, and familiarise yourself with each site’s rules on how you can respond. You should register with Google Alerts to track mentions of your business. Nominate someone in your organisation to take responsibility for responding to reviews.
- Acknowledge positive reviews. Show you value the time and effort it has taken out of someone’s day to post the review. Repeat and reinforce positive comments as a starting point.
- Be objective when you receive a negative review. Don’t take it personally. Acknowledge each point raised and if needed say that you’ll investigate before a full response. This shows readers of the review you have an approachable attitude towards customer service and if handled well will give them the confidence in your brand.
- Respond promptly: ideally within 48 hrs. Show you care about what people think. Do not ignore a negative review as it won’t go away.
- Use a friendly personalised writing style not an automated or standard response. Whatever the tone or content of the review, an aggressive response will damage your reputation even more. Be polite, understanding and professional at all times.
- Keep responses short. Do not over explain as it will look like you are trying to make excuses. Thank the reviewer publicly for the feedback and the opportunity to put things right.
- Ask the reviewer to contact you privately to discuss their feedback. An apology and goodwill gesture will go a long way and may turn a potential defeat into a victory.
- Be consistent: remember people can scroll back and see previous responses.
- Investigate any underlying issues raised and put them right. One bad review may be forgiven but numerous negative reviews on the same subject can prove fatal.
- Don’t be afraid to encourage customers to post reviews. Display the logo of the review site or embed their link on your website, social media channels and in e-communications. Encourage ALL customers to review your business. You can handle it!
Media Managers has the expertise and know-how to help you develop a digital strategy to manage your online presence and reputation.
Contact the team on 01284 337540 to find out more.