Negative Reviews on Google (My Business): How to Respond

Negative Reviews on Google My Business can be a bad thing for any self-respecting business. As if running a business wasn’t bad enough, there’s a little bit of management involved to ensure that your presence on the web is not tarnished by a few negative reviews. Ashley is back this week on how to manage your Negative Reviews on Google My Business with Tips on How to Respond to them effectively.

These days, technology has made it possible for businesses to grow much faster than ever before. Companies have several avenues to explore, and multiple aspects consider that never existed before. One such pertinent example is social media marketing.

Another crucial element is online reviews. Where it could take several years to grow customer trust and loyalty in the past, positive online reviews can propel a business’ reputation much faster. Conversely, excessive negative reviews can have a drastically opposite effect.

Google My Business is a valuable tool to manage and respond to online reviews. As Google is the most widely used search engine in the world, it is more than likely that a potential customer will search your business on Google.

If so, it is safe to assume he/she will also read the reviews left about your business and your company’s responses to them. Thus, regardless of the nature of the reviews, it is essential to respond to them effectively and promptly.

Here is a brief guide on how to respond to Google reviews, particularly negative ones:

Do Not Ignore the Review:

When a customer shares their experience on a review platform like Google, they expect to be heard and acknowledged.

If it is a positive review, the customer’s patronage should at least be rewarded with a few kind words. On the other hand, responding to negative reviews can be an effective way to appease disappointed customers.

Perhaps the worst thing to do with a negative review is to ignore them. Business’ may be tempted to think that if they only respond to positive reviews and not negative ones, the negative ones will be drowned out.

However, quite the opposite happens as the negative ones without a reply are further highlighted and stand out.

This reflects very poorly on the business and tells customers that it doesn’t care about their opinions, nor is it willing to change for the better.

On the other hand, if the business makes a habit of addressing both the good and the bad, it sends a message to the readers that the company genuinely cares about their customer satisfaction. In this way, even the most negative reviews can be used to make a positive impact.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

In responding to negative reviews, a few essential points should be noted. Firstly, the tone of the reply should never be confrontational or condescending. Instead of trying to find excuses, it is better to address what happened and accept your company’s mistake.

Nobody wants to hear excuses. The simple fact is no matter what the problems were; the customer experience should not have been affected.

To start, address the reviewer by name, mention what happened and apologize in an empathetic tone. These help the reply seem personalized rather than a generalized answer.

Make sure to say that your business holds itself to high standards and that the customer’s poor experience is not the norm. Overall the review should not extend beyond two to three short lines. 

It is advisable not to mention your business by name in a negative review as this has a subconscious impact on the reader, and it keeps the review lower down when your business is searched for. For the same set of reasons, the brand name should ideally be mentioned in a negative review.

Offer a Short-Term Solution

You need to learn the art and science of how to respond to Google reviews. Being offensive or defensive isn’t going to work. It’s easy to be polite and reply to a customer. It’s not as simple to self-reflect and genuinely see your mistakes.

You should take a moment to stand in a customer’s shoes. If you invested your valuable time or hard-earned money in something and still had a poor experience, you’d be disheartened and at least a bit angry. What you or any unhappy customer would want most is to be done right by.

This is why it is expected of businesses to not only reply to criticism but to offer solutions to the issues that were highlighted actively. For some customers who’ve had a particularly disappointing experience, refunds or discounts can be provided.

This won’t eradicate the customer’s poor experience, but at least they won’t be worried about lost money. Keep in mind though that a business can’t just hand out refund or discounts to all people who leave negative reviews as this would result in loses and potential abuse of the system.

Offer Long Term Solutions

Reviews are critical not just for marketing but for a business’ growth and improvement. How can a company know it is being perceived well until it takes the time and effort to read online reviews left by customers?

If customers continue to point out issues that are never resolved, they will stop coming. However, if their suggestions are heard and implemented, they will be won over, possibly for life.

Reviews first need to be categorized in order of frequency and urgency. If several customers face a particular problem, it demands more immediate attention as compared to one faced few and far between.

There can be exceptions, though. If there is a minor issue that is easy to fix, why not fix it as soon as possible?

Even the best run businesses have some room for improvement. It is worth investing in such growth as stagnation is never good. Constant evolution keeps a company ahead of its competition at all times and prevents them from ever falling behind the times.

Handling Negative Reviews Isn’t Hard

It is important to note that both positive and negative reviews are to be expected for any business. In each case, it is vital to respond to such reviews in a timely and professional manner.

This holds even more true for negative reviews. Indeed, as many as 89% of consumers read the business’ responses to reviews, making these responses critical in making an impact on the customers.

Ashley Rosa

About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well.  She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.

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