Reviews are the new word-of-month and it’s easier than ever for customers to leave reviews about your business. Don’t ignore negative online reviews, but be very careful when responding to them as well.

Don’t Ignore Bad Online Reviews

A business listing with bad reviews and no responses by the business owner gives the impression that the business is bad and does not care about its customers. Make an attempt to respond to your negative reviews and do it as quickly as possible. Be sure to apologize and empathize with the reviewer for not having a satisfactory experience with your business. Offer up whatever resolution is reasonable, likea return trip to look at their appliance. You can also take this time to stress positive aspects about your business such as “standing by your work” and “honoring any guarantees.”

By doing this you acknowledge the reviewer and show that you are willing to listen to them. It also shows that you are willing to deal with problems and stand by your work, something that is valuable to potential customers.

Don’t Get Into a Shouting Match

If things appear to be escalating quickly, ask the unhappy reviewer to reach out to you via email or phone. Try to avoid getting into an escalating comments war as it puts you and your company in a negative light.

Don’t Get Mad

If you find yourself angered by a review someone has left about your business, write a response to the review in a separate document and leave it for a while. Review your response before posting it for tone and clarity. You can also ask someone to read your response as well, to make sure your words are chosen carefully. Although you cannot control what a person says about your business, you can control your response to them.

Try to Avoid Negative Reviews in the First Place

Avoid negative online reviews by being upfront with the cost of service calls and parts. If you are running late, try to call the customer to let them know. Learn from past negative reviews and use those as an opportunity to improve your service.

Remember, just because your business received a bad review, does not mean your business is bad. Most rational people understand that every business receives a bad review from time-to-time. If anything, it makes your other positive reviews appear more trust-worthy and honest, so be sure you have a lot of good reviews mixed in with the bad ones.

By anticipating negative reviews and having a plan in place, you can deal with them easily when they happen.