Small business owners are more than familiar with online reviews of their products and services, but many remain unsure how to respond to negative comments. Ignoring negative reviews doesn’t help anyone—but responding to them in the wrong way can create even more trouble. Locality.com, a website that allows users to compare prices, hours and reviews of local businesses, recently conducted an analysis of thousands of businesses on its platform. Locality CEO Jay Shek compiled the following list of four common mistakes small business owners make when responding to negative reviews.
Mistake 1: Posting fake positive reviews. Many online neighborhood guides have red flags in place to discover when fake reviews are posted. Don’t run the risk of being publicly shamed—it’s not worth it.
Mistake 2: Overreacting. Negative responses, finger-pointing and the “blame game” are easy ways to turn a bad online conversation into really bad buzz that hurts your bottom line. Be constructive instead and look for a solution.
Mistake 3: Being too passive. Ask your loyal customers to review your business or service. Target problems in customer service and nip them in the bud before they find their way into an online review.
Mistake 4: Keeping the conversation online. Move the conversation offline: contact the customer behind the negative review, listen to their grievances and offer a positive solution. iBi