How to Address Online Negative Company Comments and Reviews

With so many websites accessible for prospective customers to view ratings and reviews about a business, product or service, it can feel overwhelming to put your company’s name out there in fear of negative commentary. These websites, such as Yelp, Google and any company page set up on Facebook, or other social media platforms, offer an open forum for discussion. Most of the time, the person taking the time to review will want to commend the experiences they had. However, there is always risk for receiving a not so favorable review and there’s nothing you can do about that.

With social media, people find it easy to say what they want and feel like they won’t have any ramification for it. Try to keep in mind that the customer is always right and that while you can’t control what someone says online, you can have a general system in place for if/when those comments are made and how you handle the situation.

The time it takes for you to respond and how you choose to do it says a lot about your company and its integrity. By following the simple steps below if you receive a negative comment, you are often able to turn the situation around and recover quickly.

  1. Always respond and do it quickly. Sometimes it’s hard to catch a review moments after it’s posted. However, if you have a goal to respond within 24 hours, you will be able to nip the problem in the bud and provide a solution. Respond publicly with your company’s name as the title so that others viewing will see you are professional and efficient. Make sure to apologize for their dissatisfaction.
  2. Make it personal. Address the commenter by their name and reiterate their issue. After you’ve responded in this manner, try and send a personal email to them. If they’ve worked with you, chances are you have their contact information. Personally email or call them to further understand the issue and offer to provide a solution. They will feel like you care after you’ve taken the time to reach out not only once, but twice.
  3. Be prepared to admit fault if appropriate. Sometimes it’s not your fault if someone is upset with your services. There may have been extenuating circumstances that didn’t allow them to have a successful experience with your company. However, those reading the reviews don’t know the back story; they only know what they read online. In your email or phone call to them, apologize and offer to make it right.
  4. Turn a negative situation into a positive one. Before speaking with the upset customer, try to have a solution in mind to make them happy. Offer them an extra service or to extend what you’ve promised them. If they feel like you’ve gone out of your way to make them happy, they will often be understanding of the situation and possibly even revise their review. When the primary goal of the organization is always to make the customer happy, you will more than likely experience good overall online ratings, which will benefit your business in many ways.

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