How Should You Deal With BAD Online Reviews?
Posted on February 3rd, 2020
3 min read
If you run a solid business, most of your customers are probably happy.  

But when it comes to online reviews, it’s the minority of unhappy customers you need to worry about.  

Whatever you do, don’t ignore bad reviews.

With the right strategies, you can: 

● Reduce the impact of negative reviews 

● Increase your average review score by attracting more positive reviews

● Decrease your number of negative reviews over time

We help small businesses do all three of these things. In this post, we’ll show you how we do it.

But first, you need to understand why it’s important for businesses to acquire good reviews.  
Why Reviews Are So Important!!!
Online reviews are important because:

● 92% of people buy based on online reviews

● Reviews are 2nd influential factor in local SEO

● 57% wont consider buying from a business w/ less than 4 stars

We’re guessing you already knew that people read online reviews before deciding if they want to do business with you.  

But here’s what most business owners don’t know: 

● If you get mostly positive reviews, Google makes it easier to find your business on search engines including Google Maps. Reviews are actually the 2nd most influential factor for Local SEO.  

● If you get mostly negative reviews, Google makes it harder to find you.

It will be harder for EVERYONE to find you if you have poor reviews.

For example, imagine you’re a dentist in Washington, DC.  

● You have 32 Google reviews with an 3.5 star average rating. 
 
● Your competitor a few blocks away has 104 reviews with an average of 4.3 stars.

When DC residents search for “dentist in Washington DC,” your competitor’s website will most likely show up before yours.

As this example demonstrates, reviews aren’t only important for your reputation. They directly impact how easily new customers can find you online.

How To Deal With Negative Reviews
Dealing with negative reviews requires a short-term strategy, a medium-term strategy, and a long-term strategy.

You don’t need to plan any of these strategies yourself. We’ve planned them all for you.

The Best Short-Term Strategy: Respond To Bad Reviews
Most review sites let business owners respond to reviews.  

Did you know that 33% of negative reviews turn into positive reviews when businesses respond to them? 

Even if a negative review remains online, a well-crafted response is still the right PR strategy. The 

Here are two additional reasons why responding to reviews is important:

89% of customers read business’ responses to reviews

● Not responding to reviews decreases customer retention by 15%.

Responding to negative reviews can work wonders for your business, but only if you do it the right way. 

You always want to personalize your responses.  

And no matter how much of a jerk a critical reviewer is, resist the temptation to insult or argue with them!

Here are four steps for responding to a negative review:

1) Apologize for a less than stellar customer experience. Specifically identify what the customer was unhappy with.

2) Reiterate your commitment to customer satisfaction.

3) Offer to get in touch directly to make things right.

4) Once you’re communicating one-on-one with a critical reviewer, you can offer them:

  ● A refund

  ● A free product or service

  ● Anything else you think might make them happy

Here’s an example of a negative review and a well-crafted response:

Negative Review: 

I asked for a medium-rare bacon cheeseburger with a sesame seed bun. But the waiter brought me a well-done cheeseburger with a whole wheat bun, and he forgot the bacon.   

I was too hungry to argue with him. The burger was fine, but it wasn’t what I wanted.

I don’t plan to come back to this establishment.

Owner’s Response:

Hi Katie, thank you for your constructive feedback.  

We’re sorry you were dissatisfied with the service at our establishment. Here at Local Restaurant, making our customers happy is our #1 priority.

We want to make things right. Please give us a call at (555) 555-5555, or email us at owner@localrestaurant.com. We’d love the opportunity to earn your business back.

In some cases, resolving an issue with a critical reviewer can spur them to delete their original review and write a five star review! 

The best part about personalized responses to reviews is that you can do it on autopilot using review automation software. We'll explain more on this below. 
The Best Medium-Term Strategy: Use Review Automation Software
Everyone knows that unhappy customers write more reviews than anyone else.  

Think about it: When are you most likely to go to Google or Yelp to write a review? Probably when you’re angry about a bad experience!

That’s why if only 5% of your customers are unhappy, that could result in 10-30% of your reviews being from unhappy customers.  

But you can change that!

Review Automation Software automatically sends an email or text message to every customer who provides their contact information. 

These messages do two things:  

● They remind happy customers to share their positive experiences on review sites like Yelp, Google, or any other review site that is important to your business.

● They offer unhappy customers the opportunity to speak directly with someone at your business instead of writing a negative review.

When more happy customers review your business, that will crowd out negative reviews and boost your search engine rankings. Reviews are the 2nd most influential factor to local SEO.

And when you make it easy for dissatisfied customers to get in touch with someone at your business, that gives you an opportunity to resolve their issues before they can write a negative review. 

You’d be surprised how quickly review automation software can increase your average rating on Google or Yelp. Some businesses see their ratings skyrocket in a matter of weeks.
The Best Long-Term Strategy: Reduce Your Number Of Unhappy Customers
Review Management Software is a great way to keep a handful of disgruntled customers from screwing up your marketing. We believe every business should use it.

But some businesses manage to attract almost nothing but positive reviews, even without Review Automation Software!

You probably have a great business. But if you want to be an elite business owner, you need to make your business so great that even the most difficult customers will love your products and services.

In other words, if 5% of your customers are less than completely satisfied, you need to reduce that to 1% or less.

Here’s how to do that:

● Read every negative review, and create a list of criticisms of your business.  

● Formulate a list of strategies to address those criticisms.

● Implement your strategies.

● If certain strategies don’t work, go back to the drawing board and try alternative strategies.

Over time, the number of negative reviews you receive should decrease. However, if you want to keep the flow of positive reviews, you need to develop a review generation strategy.

That is why we think that Review Automation Software is the best solution to increasing your reviews across Google and other platforms. You will seamlessly increase your positive reviews, get negative feedback directly, and burry negative reviews all on autopilot. 
A Word About Fake Reviews
One last thing.

Some people feel tempted to flood Google and Yelp with fake positive reviews of their businesses. This almost never works.

Review websites have gotten very good at detecting fake reviews.  

Review sites can identify: 

● If you’re using the same device to write multiple reviews 

● If too many people are writing reviews from similar locations

● If a suspicious number of reviews comes from people in your extended social network.

Yelp has even run successful sting operations to stop people from paying for reviews!

Writing fake reviews isn’t just a waste of time, energy, and sometimes money. It can also get you banned from review sites like Google and Yelp.

It’s just not worth it.

Besides, now that you know how to boost your reviews the right way, there’s no reason to resort to sketchy tactics.  

We know you’ll succeed if you implement the strategies laid out in this article. 

Good luck!!!
iwdm-birdeye-review-marketing-report
Case Study Report
We started Review Automation for this client in Mid July, by the end of their FREE trial they had gained 94 NEW Reviews on Google and the Reviews are continuously racking in!

We’re ready to offer you a FREE month of our Review Automation Service with NO obligation. 

To get started, simply click the Button below and follow the prompt. 
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