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Whatever business you’re in, whatever you’re creating or doing, you know there are people out there who love what you do. Maybe even more than some! Maybe you have hundreds or thousands of faithful clients or fans — and the positive reviews to prove it.

In the midst of all that positivity, a negative review feels like a punch to the gut. Maybe the reviewer hated the product you sold them or the service you provided. Ouch. How do we process and respond to negative reviews?

In a society dominated by the power of internet marketing, negative reviews can have a crushing impact on an individual’s or business’ success. Reputation management is an integral part of an effective digital marketing strategy.

  • RESPOND PROMPTLY

The amount of time you have to respond to negative reviews will vary depending on the platform. For instance, you should reply within minutes on Twitter, but Google has more leeway. When you post a quick response, your clients (and potential clients in the audience) will see that you’re listening and committed to making things right.

Avoid mentioning your company’s name in the response so that the negative review will not be one of the first things to pop up in online search results.

  • BE SPECIFIC

Simply responding is not enough. Follow up and solve the customer’s issue with action. You will not always be able to solve their problem with only a social media response, so reaching out to the customer via phone or email will be your best bet.

If possible and when applicable, include an online follow-up response that succinctly explains how your company plans to correct the problem.

  • SAY THANK YOU

Always thank the customer. Thank them for the time and effort they have taken to provide feedback, and thank them for providing you with the opportunity to resolve the issue. Feedback is crucial for growth. Even a negative review could end up serving as a good thing that springboards growth for your business.

Plus, sometimes customers can be suspicious of companies with only five-star ratings and zero complaints or criticism. Critical thinkers know that any business can (and will) mess up. When a business admits to its error, shows a willingness to be authentic, and offers to fix a problem for its customers, that means a lot to people who may be considering using your business.

  • BE PROACTIVE

Whether you’ve already encountered negative reviews in the past or not, it’s essential to have a digital marketing plan in place for when it happens.

Prepare and train your employees on how to handle negative reviews. Responding to negative reviews in an unprofessional manner, not responding at all, or deleting negative reviews can all backfire majorly.

It’s worth it to invest in digital marketing services that help your company with reputation management online. Even with great products and services, lacking excellent customer service could result in lost business.

On a personal note, it can be good to remember the bigger picture. If you’re doing your best work and someone is unhappy with the same thing that plenty of others love, then maybe your product is simply not for them.

It’s possible that the individual is looking for something you don’t even offer, or perhaps they do not realize the value of what you do. Sometimes you can address this by telling your brand’s story more clearly, but other times that isn’t the issue. In those instances, it may be the time to say, “Thank you for letting us know,” and move on.

Solid digital marketing and reputation management services are fundamental to helping businesses thrive in the modern marketplace. Choose our reputation management services and your business will grow. When you partner with RODA Marketing, an award-winning digital marketing agency founded in Lancaster, PA, you are choosing our passion, experience, and proficiency.

Schedule a discovery session with us today, and watch us deliver value and results to your business!