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Businesses live online. And whether we like it or not, online reviews play a significant role in attracting new clients. Reviews also impact organic SEO and Local Pack rankings.

Checking reviews found on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other sites has become an integral part of the buyer’s journey for today’s consumers. If you ignore negative reviews, people will think you have something to hide. But negative reviews are a wonderful opportunity to build your brand if you’re willing to respond in an open and positive way.

It’s essential to respond to all reviews in a timely manner. This tells people that you care about the type of experience you’re providing for your clients. Replying to reviews also demonstrates that you’re willing to listen to your clients and accept criticism. Above all, it shows you’re human.

Why Responding Is Important

Curating online reviews is crucial in today’s business world. And you’ll want to reply to all reviews quickly, using a cordial and professional tone. Eighty-nine percent of people report that they’re highly or fairly likely to use a business that responds to all its online reviews.

Negative reviews aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, sites that only contain glowing positive reviews are more likely to be regarded as fake by users. But unanswered negative reviews will certainly harm your brand because they damage trustworthiness and cause customers to avoid you.

The best way to reduce the impact of negative reviews is by soliciting positive ones. Make sure everyone on your team is treating people with respect and don’t be afraid to ask satisfied clients for reviews.

You’ll want to avoid so-called reputation management companies that promise to eliminate negative reviews because it’s just a scam. Legitimate negative customer reviews cannot be removed by an outside company.

Replying to Negative Reviews

Every business gets complaints. The sensible response is to use negative reviews to your advantage by calmly addressing the client’s issues and doing everything you can to work out the situation amicably.

Try to be brief when replying to negative client reviews. And always remember that the whole world can see your conversation.

These strategies will help you demonstrate that you’re sincerely dedicated to resolving people’s concerns:

  • Thank them for their feedback.
  • Sympathize with the client’s situation.
  • Listen and learn. Don’t run away from a problem.
  • Provide your phone number and ask the client to call you directly.
  • Don’t get angry or defensive.
  • Take the conversation offline.
  • Call the client if you know who it is.
  • Make the customer feel validated by directly addressing their concerns.
  • Never use all caps, sarcasm, a negative tone, insults, name-calling, or bad language.
  • Offer a sincere apology that takes responsibility for your firm’s mistakes.
  • Don’t make excuses but do try to explain what happened.
  • Discuss issues raised by negative reviews with your team to improve customer service.
  • Never reveal confidential information about a client.
  • Highlight fake reviews using facts.
  • Offer to resolve the situation.
  • Don’t say condescending things like, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
  • Personalize your response and try not to sound like a bot.
  • Let them know you’re aware of the situation and you’re working to resolve it.
  • Ask how you can make things right.

SLS Consulting—Real Marketing Solutions for Today’s World

There was a time when all a company had to do to attract new clients was purchase an ad in the Yellow Pages. But those days are long gone. We have the right strategies to compete in the modern arena.

Call SLS Consulting, Inc. at (323) 745-1806 for a FREE consultation today. We’ll help you stay ahead of the pack.

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