Business owners, bloggers, and content creators want reviews and comments on their online platforms. They want to see how customers and audiences react to their products, services, and content. Unfortunately, not all reviews and comments are positive and helpful. The comfort of anonymity makes people bolder and more inclined to be vindictive so they freely say things they wouldn't have said under other circumstances. These nasty and negative online comments and reviews can sometimes prove to be damaging to the business owner, the business, and even the employees.
6 tips on how to handle negative reviews and comments
Every business owner has to deal with a large number of negative reviews, especially if their product or service is popular. Displeased customers are often more vocal and visible than pleased clients because they're angry and want to let people know. They'll put in the effort to leave comments on all platforms. This only showcases one side of the story and can have a big impact on future customers. Here are some tips that will help you handle the negative comments:
#1 Stay calm
It's easy to become panicked, anxious, or angry when you see a slew of negative comments and reviews. These reviews are directed at content, products, or services you worked hard on so there's some sentiment and emotional attachment. This temporary surge of emotion can often lead to unplanned and hasty action that can have a permanent impact on your digital marketing and company reputation. Here's what you can do:
- Take a step away to become calm and don't respond immediately.
- Look at the situation and ask yourself, "Why did this happen?" and "What is the reason behind the negative review?"
- Is the comment reasonable and warranted?
It's important to separate serious feedback and criticism from trolling because comments from trolls don't help while serious feedback can help improve the quality of your business.
#2 Do nothing
If you have just one or two negative comments in a sea of positive ones, you really don't need to do anything or respond in any way unless they're serious reviews and deserve to get attention. People who read comments or reviews are aware that most businesses will get some negative reviews, regardless of how good their services are. If there see a few "terribles" amongst hundreds of "goods", "excellents", and "OKs", they'll judge your business fairly based on that.
Some commenters and reviewers use these platforms to be negative and cause damage deliberately. If you respond to them, they'll take that as motivation to do more harm. It's best to ignore these comments and focus on the positive feedback. However, if you don't have much positive feedback, there is cause for concern and it's important to work on it.
#3 Generate more positive media
The only way to minimise the impact of negative feedback is to overwhelm it with positive feedback. It's important to encourage customers to share their positive experiences on different social media platforms. Most platforms will provide a weighted average of the ratings a business receives so if you have a couple of negative reviews with several dozens of positive ones, the average rating will be favourable.
It's important to have a system in place that encourages people to leave behind positive feedback. Make it easier for them to review by adding links and social media buttons to the website. So if the client has a positive experience with you, ask them to leave a comment on Facebook or the review websites. You can send them an email with links to social media and review platforms to make the entire process easy. If the process is easier, they'll be more tempted to leave glowing feedback.
#4 Find out what went wrong
Negative feedback can also help a business because it points towards flaws. If you receive negative feedback, look at the why and determine what you can do to change it. If there's a problem with the product or service, evaluate it and try to determine the root cause. Taking feedback seriously and resolving the problem can have a good impact on the customer and improve your reputation in general.
It shows the company is willing to admit to mistakes and take what their customers say seriously. Poor reviews and troublesome customers are also an indication that there's something wrong with the sales system in your company; recognising this is the first step to fixing the problem.
#5 Speak with the customer privately
Resolving the problem on an online public platform is difficult and can often lead to miscommunication. Instead of attempting to resolve it on Facebook or social media, call the client directly and speak with them on the matter. If you don't believe the review is fair or accurate, let them know. Be sure to offer incentives and keep the communication lines open because you don't want to alienate people.
#6 Contact the platform
Consider the platforms rules and regulations and see if the reviews and comments are in violation of them. Social media platforms like Facebook and Google allow people to report offensive comments and many times these comments are flagged and taken down. This works on other review and blogging platforms as well. You just need to read through the rules and regulations carefully to determine if there's something wrong.
As the use of the Internet becomes more popular and widely used, these negative comments and the so-called "trolls" will continue to increase and invade comment sections. It's important to have a process and strategy on how to handle these comments as a business and a business owner.