In our previous blog, we discussed why positive reviews are so beneficial for company success in an era of interconnectivity. The Internet and social media have allowed any individual to post their personal opinions, critiques or comments about a company online for the world to see. These comments are often pleasant; however, these reviews can become detrimental to company success if they are harmful. Here a few tips to follow as a company owner with negative online reviews:

Respond When Emotions Have Tempered

It’s natural to be upset or angry when someone writes pessimistic comments about you or your company. The natural reaction would be to respond to the review and defend your business, your employees and yourself from words of defamation and callousness. However, this can do more harm than good for the future of your business. It is important to remember the words you post on the Internet are on there forever, and you must be careful how you respond. Take a moment to collect your thought, revise the situation, and then formulate a response that makes you appear professional and well-intentioned. Give prospective customers the idea that you are a reasonable business woman or man and the entire thing could be a misunderstanding.

Take It Offline

As a company owner, it is your job to make the negative review look as though it is a non-problem and can be fixed. Your perception of an issue reflects how others will envision doing business with you. Instead of arguing over a Google My Business page or Yelp, instead, offer to resolve this issue through an alternative medium like email or telephone. Demonstrate your level of care to the concern, and if there is an actual issue to address, it is much easier to do so with consistent communication rather than on a public platform for the entire world to see.

Respond Promptly

Yes, we previously said wait until your emotions have settled on the problem so you can respond with a clear mind with a coherent rationale. However, if the cooling down process takes more than a day, you should enlist the assistance of a fellow manager or coworker to formulate a polite response to the negative review. The longer that you take to respond to a negative review, the more it appears as if you aren’t grasping the severity of the situation. Negative reviews impact sales, consumer trust, and brand awareness. Responding to criticisms on time shows that your care for your customer and company are of utmost importance and that you never want to disappoint those you serve.