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When Google Reviews Go Wrong – How to Stay On Top of Negative Reviews

The internet has provided business owners with many wonderful things, especially in bringing you closer to your customers. But there have been drawbacks as well, and negative reviews can hamstring even the best-run business in a heartbeat. Because customers are increasingly reliant on online reviews to inform their purchasing decisions, you need to monitor your online presence and respond to reviews – both good and bad – in a timely and professional manner.

Here are some helpful ways you can start taking more control of your business by managing negative reviews online.

Respond quickly and professionally

Ever had a negative review that hurts so bad you don’t even want to look at it, let alone respond to it? You’re not alone. But leaving that negative review to fester is a sure-fire way to lose business. After all, if a potential customer sees that review and notices you haven’t even taken the time to address it, what’s stopping them from believing that those negative comments must be true?

Instead, by responding to any negative review as soon as possible, it shows that you are taking the customer’s feedback seriously and are committed to resolving any issues.

Apologise with sincerity

Even if you don’t believe you were in the wrong, as a business owner you need to protect your investment above any personal conflict you may have with appeasing an unhappy customer.

By responding with a sincere apology – and, more importantly, a solution to the problem – you can easily turn a negative situation into a positive one. Moreover, it will show the affected customer and others that your business cares about their experience..

Seek direct feedback

It’s always a good idea to take the conversation offline as soon as possible. No one wants to read a long review chain of the business owner and unhappy customer arguing back and forth. So after apologising, make sure you provide a direct email or phone number where they can speak to you about the situation in private.

When a customer has had a negative experience, they will usually appreciate the opportunity to air their grievances directly with you. You can then help resolve the issue while avoiding further fallout online.

Monitor reviews regularly

The best way to avoid a repeat incident is to know what your customers are saying about you. After a pleasant experience, a customer may leave a positive review, but it’s not always likely. However, if they have a poor experience then you can almost guarantee they will leave a review about it.

So take the time at least every week to regularly monitor your business’s online reviews. It will help you stay on top of any negative feedback as it presents itself, as well as address issues quickly before they escalate.

“We work with businesses across all industries, but one thing remains the same: happy customers are repeat customers,” says David Crook, Managing Director at Nero Financial. “I will always encourage a business owner to jump on negative reviews immediately. It’s a great way to interact with customers and turn a negative experience into a positive one, and it will also be a teachable moment for the owner, who can then use what they have learned to improve the customer experience.”

For more business insights and advice from experienced commercial brokers, contact the experts at Nero today or call 1300 025 949.