Bad reviews are like taxes, rain, and mice – you are bound to have to deal with them sooner or later! The reasons for a poor review can range from an unexpected situation or failure in a well-practiced routine to encountering a client that has had a very bad day before entering your doors. It is important to remember that your response to the bad review is as important, if not more so, than the review itself. Here are some of the choices you have available when tackling this thorny issue:
Dealing with Critical Constructive Reviews
When a client complains about a specific thing, it is vastly better for your company and brand to acknowledge it and strive to make the necessary changes. If you simply delete the post, or worse ignore it, then you risk having the problem fester and ruin other client relations. Reply to the reviewer and obtain as much information as possible. When people read the review they will see that your company is proactive and willing to go the extra step to ensuring an optimal experience for everyone involved.
Remember that the client is feeling disappointed, hurt, and irritated over the review. By addressing their specific problem you may be able to salvage this particular client and foster a sense of trust and goodwill essential for a healthy business.
Just remember that the Internet has a long memory – the review, even if deleted, can come back to haunt your company for years down the road. Monitor popular social media sites and identify issues as they crop up. Time is of the essence, making a prompt response vital for an optimal resolution. Here is a solid example of a good response from a business to a scathing, negative review:
Tackling the Other Sort of Bad Reviews
Not every bit of criticism hurled towards your company will be directed at a specific product or service. These are more insidious, directly attacking the worth and trustworthiness of your brand and business. As such, how you respond will direct impact how future viewers treat the negative review. Here are some specific situations and common solutions you may encounter:
If you make the mistake of mixing politics with business, especially in the hyper partisan American market, then it is almost inevitable that your company will experience a backlash. The most effective way to handle this is to block the bad reviews, stop posting political themed content on your personal site, and wait out the storm.
The reason for this is simple – the posters thrive on new material and issues have a short shelf life. By starving out the haters and avoiding new fires you will be able to refocus your online presence back on your goods and services without enduring lasting fall out.
Accidental Slurs Against Minorities
Apologize and post material to education sites on the minority group immediately. You will continue to receive flack for awhile, though with concentrated effort at showing the post was made in ignorance you will be able show that you, and your company, meant no harm and has learned a valuable lesson.
Additionally, delete any new posts after 24 hours but do not delete the initial days posts until after the fervor has died down. This will enable you to show contrition and salvage your brand while preventing the bad review storm from expanding to other harbors.
Kicking Out the Trolls and Their Fake Reviews
What is the Internet without Trolls? Trolls, the digital equivalent of that elderly relative that you definitely did not invite to the reunion but shows up with his usual collection of colorful political and ethnic commentary that would make the American White House shudder in horror.
The best way to tackle this problem is to simply delete the post and block the offending poster. You can generally review fake reviews if you can show any of the following to the site administrators:
- Reviewer Never Used Your Services
- Reviewer Breaks Site Standards
- Adds No Value for Customers
This only works for written reviews. For instance, there is no way to review low star ratings on Facebook at this time.
There is only so much you can do to correct the record for false or bad reviews. There are many situations in which you will be forced to deal with inappropriate written material if you allow it to be created in the first place. By disabling reviews and channeling customer feedback to an email address you will be able to control what is posted on your social media profile and prevent your brand quality from being subject to the whims of an often fickle array of customers, competing companies, and bored net surfers.
By disabling reviews you will turn your social media site from an active community page to a simple blog page that can push content directly to your followers. This places the power of the digital press completely in your hands.
To disable reviews, click the Settings button on your Facebook page, then Edit Page, then click Settings next to Reviews, and switch the Show Reviews toggle to No.
Leverage Transparency to Protect Your Brand
A major thing to always remember is that every negative review presents you with an opportunity to improve the public’s perception of your brand and inspire customer loyalty. The trick is to, as much as possible, directly address the issue and resolve it in an open and frank manner. When handled with constructive criticism you will be able to show yourself as being a trustworthy enterprise that places the experience and quality of service for your consumers above all else.
When that isn’t possible, reporting the infraction will improve the experience for everyone on the social media platform. Just remember that Facebook has only so many resources available to tackle the problems your profile may be facing.
If it gets to the point where you have no choice, make a point of telling your followers why you are blocking reviews. By being upfront and honest you can minimize the fallout cutting off easy communication can cause while showing that you still care about feedback. Always remember that honesty is the best weapon available when targeting the trolls spewing irrelevant, spiteful, and spam reviews on your Facebook business page.