7 Typical Mistakes Business Owners Make When Dealing with Negative Reviews


We’ve already considered the issue of negative online reviews, and today I’d like to list common mistakes made by entrepreneurs after discovering unfavorable customer comments on the internet.

It’s impossible to get used to negative reviews. Sometimes they cause a little stress, and sometimes – a big one. So let us survey this painful topic once again and learn how to turn angry reviewers into loyal customers. In this issue everything depends on your attitude and proper reaction.

So, dealing with negative reviews it is NOT recommended:

  1. Not to know about them. Nowadays, when everyone has an opportunity to express his uncensored opinion on any resource available and in front of any audience, you simply cannot afford not monitoring what people are saying about you. Getting online, word-of-mouth can reach tremendous power and speed. And while you are offline and feeling safe and sound, your business can be intensely discussed online. What I recommend is thorough examination of your brand and products mentioning – and taking control of all the threads discovered. Google Alerts service is not reliable, so just do it manually by means of Google search, entering such requests as “brand name + reviews”, “item + reviews”, “service + reviews”, etc. And carefully examine the results. All universal and niche review sites (both local and federal) should be observed separately.
  2. To get offended and defensive, to press charges in answer. This paragraph is short, since I’ve already given detailed recommendations on speaking with unhappy clients here.
  3. To avoid public discussions and prefer addressing the reviewers via private messages or demanding their contacts or even IPs from the website administrators. If a negative review is published openly, it requires an open discussion. Otherwise users will only remember the complaint and know nothing about the business owner’s wish to settle the question.
  4. To ignore negative reviews. When a user sees a slashing comment on somebody’s business or product, he is usually kind of curious: where is the owner, why is he silent? As a rule, the user comes to one of these two conclusions: 1. The owner, poor thing, doesn’t even suspect of the review; 2. The owner has nothing to answer, which means the review is truthful. Both variants are unfavorable for the owner. That’s why don’t hesitate to begin an open dialogue in comments.
  5. To contact website administration and claim for immediate removal of the negative review. Review sites are interested in DIFFERENT opinions, since they want to have a reputation of independent unbiased resources. Only this short list of reasons gives you the right for the review removal: black PR, second-hand experience, insulting, strong language, plagiarism and slander. Any of these points should be proved by a business owner in the way raising no doubts. Only in this case a review is subject to removal. Besides, if the review has already been noticed by the website visitors, they can regard its disappearance as the owner’s disability to admit the problem or as simple cowardice. That’s why I keep insisting on the necessity of a public dialogue.
  6. Coming across a real boorishness, to lower oneself to the brawler’s level. That’s true, the internet has no (or very little) censorship and is available to anyone, regardless of his manners, IQ and education. But it is not the reason for you to behave in the same style. Answer to the point, as if you don’t even notice the insulting words and overall temperature of the speech. If you keep dignity and speak correctly, the contrast between you and the opponent will be so obviously in your favor, that it will be noticed by all the external observers. And the more aggressive and low-grade the trouble-maker is, the better background he creates for you.
  7. Not to draw any conclusions from the whole story and not to change anything in your business. I guess comments are not needed here.

And always remember these three points:

  • Unhappy client is better than no clients at all.
  • Negative reviews won’t do you harm, if positive reviews tip the scales.
  • People don’t trust 100% positive information on a company or a product. It should be slightly diluted with neutral or even negative comments to look reliable.

I wish you fruitful work and perfect reputation!

The full original article by Polina Beletskaya

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