Have you searched for your business on Google lately? What’s showing up? Negative reviews within the first couple pages of search results might be causing you more trouble than you think. In fact, 89% of consumers say online reviews are trustworthy, with 80% changing their minds about a purchase after reading a poor review. And consumers aren’t just paying attention to written reviews – they’re watching the stars.
Star ratings from popular review sites, such as Yelp, show up in Google search results. They’re the first thing that people see and a single star increase or decrease can affect your revenue by 5 to 9%. But even worse, negative reviews are nearly impossible to remove.
So what can you do?
How to React to Negative Online Reviews About Your Business
The first step is watching online reviews closely. Leveraging this information allows you to improve your business, engage customers – and take control of potential problems.
To assist with this process, many reviews sites are allowing companies to respond to reviewers directly, either publicly or privately. But some companies aren’t sure when to respond or what to say.
It’s a good idea to respond when:
- The review warrants an apology. Your company has done something wrong, and you need to make it right. A response might include an apology, along with detailed information highlighting how you plan to correct the problem in the future.
- Facts are misstated. For example, the reviewer claims that you refused to honor a 30% off coupon that was never issued by your company. Respond with the correct facts, such as a competitor with a similar name offered a coupon, and the customer mistakenly tried to use it at your business.
- A “me too” following has developed. Multiple reviewers are complaining about similar issues, which creates a pattern for readers. Build goodwill with your most vocal customers by responding to the original complaint, acknowledging the problem and explaining any changes that you plan to implement.
It’s also important to handle reviews that are downright untruthful, or written by unethical competitors to make you look bad. In these cases, you need to post a public response explaining why the review is false, and get help from an outside agency to minimize future damage to your reputation.
When Negative Reviews Highjack your Online Presence
Despite your attempts to handle negative reviews, there are times when bad reviews start seriously impacting your business. Situations like these demand swift action. Since it’s nearly impossible to delete negative reviews online, you must push them out of sight.
But what does this mean?
Imagine that you’re searching for a primary care physician located in the New York metropolitan area. You read information on the first couple pages of search results. But will you dig 10 or even 20 pages deep into search results? Probably not. This is where the negative information about your company needs to move.
In order to accomplish this you need to develop positive information that appears within the first few pages of search results. This is where we can help you.