Should you worry about bad reviews online

144_medThe answer is yes, but not really.

If you are doing a good job and the bad reviews are the exception and not the norm, you should not overreact.

Most people can sort out the reviewers who are just in a bad mood or the one with the legitimate complaint.

They put more credence into your company than a review from someone in a bad mood.

How you react to negative reviews will play a part in the weight that a potential customer will give to a particular complaint. Here are six ways you can handle negative reviews:

  1. Always reply to the complaint. Never let a negative review sit without some sort of response on your part. Apologize and take responsibility for the problem, even if it is a complaint about the color of your corporate website design. You can offer a refund or offer a free product/service. The most important thing is to do something. When a potential customer sees your response, they will think you are doing the right thing. Never respond negatively to a customer complaint. It reflects on your business, not on the customer.
  2. Check reviews at least once a week. Doing it more often would be better. You do not want a bad review to sit out there without a response any longer than necessary. Make an appointment on your calendar for doing it and stick to the schedule.
  3. Ask your happy customers to do a review. Many businesses have regular customers who are quite happy. Getting even a few of them to leave positive reviews it will counter any negative reviews out there. You can ask them in person or make a general request as a part of your corporate website design.
  4. Let the positive reviews come at their own pace. Getting all your friends and family to send out positive reviews all at once is not a good idea. If you all of a sudden went from no reviews to 10 5-star reviews in a single week, all from raging fans, it will not look authentic to someone looking at the reviews.
  5. Realize that you cannot erase the bad reviews. They are there. All you can do is deal with them. Answer them and start burying them with positive ones.
  6. If someone leaves a nasty review that is unfounded or contains flat-out lies, you may have the right to fight it in court. Businesses in Florida have sued and won such cases. Ask your attorney for advice on the matter. You may need to talk with an attorney who specializes in this kind of law.

The main takeaway is not to panic if you get a negative review. You can use these guidelines to manage the situation and to start recovering from any damage it causes. You will find that as your list of positive reviews starts to grow, the negatives become less and less important.

Do you have any negative reviews that you should be responding to?

Watch: How To Protect Or Restore Your Online Reputation

Katapult MarketingShould you worry about bad reviews online