How to handle negative online reviews for your business

In today’s digital age, online reviews can make or break your business. They make your business more visible and can be the key to driving growth if managed and monitored well.

Notice we said “managed and monitored” — that’s because not all reviews are positive. Every business gets positive and negative reviews, but it’s essential to learn how to take advantage of negative reviews to improve your small business.

So how exactly can you monitor negative online reviews? You’ve got to respond to them! They provide a perfect platform for you as a business to interact with your audience, which is a great opportunity. Here’s four tips to keep in mind to help you out: 

  1. Respond within 24 hours: You want to provide a timely response. Customers expect it, and it allows you to diffuse a bad situation before it gets out of hand. 
  2. Make your response personable: Rather than giving a boilerplate response, you should take the time to make your responses unique and personable. Be transparent as possible — this will make your business seem more human to users on the other end. 
  3. Be tactful: It’s easy for a customer to make accusations. As a business, it’s crucial that you do not hop on the defensive; rather, you should be calm and tactful with you respond. Other customers will notice how you handled the situation, which speaks volumes about your business. 
  4. Notice negative trends: If you’ve noticed a negative trend in your online reviews, you should view as an opportunity to improve. Take note of the trend and think of ways you can improve in this area. 

There’s a lot more to leveraging negative online reviews. To learn more about how your business can take advantage of them, check out Fundera’s infographic below.

Photo by Paul Hanaoka