How to respond to online reviews
What would it be like if anyone could look up your name and see all of the things that people have said about you? Imagine typing your name into a search engine and seeing countless 1-star reviews. Imagine what other people would think after seeing your rating.
Welcome to the world of online reviews; where businesses are put in the spotlight and examined under a microscope. Good and bad experiences are broadcast for the world to read. And the world laps them up. According to a recent study, 84% of people consider these online reviews to be as trustworthy as a personal recommendation.
Your online reputation is a major factor when it comes to the success of your business. And we have a few simple rules you can follow to make sure that you are handling online reviews like the boss you are:
Whether it's good or bad, you need to respond to the review. People will see the review either way, so why not respond? Show that you are a business that stays on top of things, replies quickly, and cares about their customers. We recommend a response time of fewer than 48 hours.
Acknowledge & Validate
When it comes to negative reviews or comments, usually the person wants to be heard (in addition to having their problem solved). Show empathy. Take the time to acknowledge them and validate their feelings. Just saying "sorry" and throwing a solution out there doesn't show empathy.
It's ok to admit you made a mistake. It's also ok to say "sorry" even if you didn't technically do anything wrong. You can apologize for a misunderstanding, the stress that a situation caused, or the inconvenience. No matter how you say it, you need to say it.
Hug it out
Probably don't actually hug your unhappy customer/client. But sweeten your response with an offer to make it right! This offer doesn't necessarily need to be monetary. I mean, it helps. But let's say money isn't an option for the situation (for whatever reason). Even just offering to "sit down to discuss the matter" shows your desire to provide a solid solution to make it right.
Step out of the spotlight
Once you have acknowledged and validated the reviewer, apologized, and provided a solution, it's time to invite the person to contact you directly off of social media. Provide an email address, phone number, or a link to a form they can fill out. Take a bow. Get out of the spotlight.
Sometimes, negative reviews are too personal. They get under your skin. They feel like an attack on you and the business you built. If this sounds like you, then it's time to turn reviews over to someone that can be more neutral. Here at Porter Pro Media, we manage the online reputations of our clients so that they can continue doing what they love...while we craft great responses to both positive and negative reviews. If you are interested in getting help with your online reputation, get in touch with us today!