how to deal with negative reviews

Negative Comments: How should you deal with them?

Why are comments important in the first place?

Before we get on to dealing with negative comments. Let’s try and understand why are comments and reviews important for a business. A Google Review, for example, helps in many ways. Especially if you are a small business, a review will be an important aspect of your business that proves your credibility.

Here are some ways a comment or review is essential for your business- 

  • It acts as social proof- When potential customers look you upon on the internet, your comments section assures them that you are not a fake/fraudulent company
  • Improve your ranking- Your reviews let you directly compete with your competitors and give your customers a picture of where you stand
  • Understanding of customers- Each review gives you a peek into the type of customers you have and how you have been performing.
  • Your customers become your advocates-  Your customer reviews act as a guarantee that other potential customers will trust.

An issue that any business is wary of in all of this are the negative reviews. There is no single answer to how you can deal with them. But there are a few things to be very careful of. 

Here are some tips about how you can deal with negative comments-

  • The most important thing, which is applicable to reviews is that. You should reply to every review- not just the negative or just the positive reviews- reply to all of them.  Your replies should be mature, respectful and in sync with your brand voice. 
  • Remove comments from accounts/people who are not your customers. These are fake comments after all.
  • Do not ignore or respond angrily to a negative comment. 
  • For a genuine negative comment, make sure to respond to it. Follow up the comment by reaching out to the customer personally, so that they feel heard and seen. Make amends.
  • When you suspect a competitor has spammed you with negative comments, you should directly reach out to them to resolve the issue. When this does not help, get legal help.
  • When you are sure that someone is slandering you, you can fill out the legal removal request form from Google
  • The best way to handle too many negative comments is to get more positive comments on your page. Make sure that the ratio of positive comments is significantly higher. 

Somethings to keep in mind while dealing with the comments/ reviews section in general- 

  • Your responses will get an equal amount of attention from customers who are reading your reviews.  So keep them consistent and respectful. 
  • Always analyse whether your customer has made a valid point when they leave a negative comment. Apologise if you have genuinely made a mistake and request them to avail your services again, assuring them a better experience. 
  • Encourage customers who have only left ratings to divulge more details about their experience (especially if it was a good experience).
  • Pay attention to repeated complaints about a particular issue, get it resolved as soon as possible. 

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Supriya Sukumaran

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