Online Reputation Management: How Do You Respond To Negative Reviews?

Online Reputation Management: How Do You Respond To Negative Reviews?
By Mohammad Farooq

Online reviews are an extension of a customers thoughts on your business, and at some point a customer will write a negative review. People always wonder whether or not they should respond to the negative review. Even today, many brands ignore customer feedback on Facebook. Online reputation management for brands is a very serious matter and most experts will agree that responding to negative comments or reviews helps minimize your damage.


But how do you go about responding to scathing reviews? In 3 easy steps:

Step 1:  Accept Your Fault And Apologize

That negative review is up for everyone to see so it’s best if you admit you’re wrong. Denial is only going to make you look arrogant. Respond to the comment by saying that you are sorry the customer had a problem and that you will look into it immediately. It doesn’t matter whether or not the reviewer lied – what matters is how you react to the situation.

Many read the replies to negative comments, which is why you can’t afford to go wrong. Be calm, polite and be as understanding of the complaint as you can.

Step 2:  Explain Your Stand And Promise The Problem Will Never Be Repeated.

People should feel they’ve been heard, and there’s no better way of doing so than by actually changing the very issue they have a problem with.

If possible, take the problem off the Facebook page or Yelp website. Ask the unsatisfied customer to call or email you and sort everything out without a thousand prying eyes watching your every move.

But of course, the customer isn’t always right. And sometimes the biggest bone of contention is how highly priced someone’s products or services are. But, guess what? You can put your point across and be right without sounding like a jerk.

Step 3:  Offer To Fix The Issue

Do they have a problem with your staff’s attitude? Train your staff to be more polite. Is the food served always at room temperature? Reprimand your chef. Is your product faulty? Find out why.

Listening to customer complaints and using them to improve your services makes for great marketing.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind

Although it sounds easy to respond to negative reviews in 3 simple steps, people can’t always manage to do it.

These tips might help:

Keep it brief. Nobody has the time or patience to read long essays, so keep your responses short and sweet. Unless there are several issues pointed out in your product or service and you have to respond to them individually, there’s no reason for a long response.

Take your time responding. If a review angers you, it’s best to take a few deep breaths before replying. Being rude, arrogant or mean, especially on the internet, is going to backfire. Managing your online reputation is imperative, but it can be something brands neglect to address.

Show your company’s commitment to customer satisfaction. Aim for improvement and show people how dedicated you are to your consumers. The best way to do it is to be active on social media and respond to people’s comments and feedback.

Monitor your online presence. Do you really want that negative review to be on your page for weeks before you respond to it? I recommend setting up Google Alerts for your brand’s name so that you can get an email whenever your brand is mentioned.

Request removal of defamatory reviews. What’s the point of a poor review being online after the issue’s been resolved, especially on a 3rd party website? And remember to claim your business listing before making the request of taking the review down.

ORM looks like hard work, doesn’t it? But it’s not as bad as you think, once you get the hang of it. It gets better with time.

Mohammad Farooq works as a Social Media Analyst. When not doing anything related to Social media, he goes backpacking around India. He regularly blogs about Travel, Movies, Political Issues and a lot of other things on his blog ReveringThoughts