Online Reputation Management 101: Win with Negative Reviews!

Online Reputation Management 101: Win with Negative Reviews!

Negative online reviews are something no business owner likes to see, but unfortunately they happen. Not every customer is going to feel pleased with your service or product. This should not cause you to panic, however, as you will see. Not only do negative reviews have some positive outcomes, but they can also become proof of your company’s commitment to great customer service.


Think about the feeling you get when you read or hear only positive reviews about a company or product. You wonder about the honesty of the reviews. There is nothing in this world that will please everyone, that is a simple fact of life. By having negative reviews, you let people know your company is real and is willing to own up to imperfection. This helps garner trust from prospective clients.

Increased Traffic

It is human nature to spend more time reading something negative than something positive. People, however, don’t like being told what to believe (for example, that negative review!). For this reason, someone will be more likely to visit your page and see what they can find out. They will visit more pages and stick around longer, trying to discern for themselves if they see anything that might warrant the negative review. This added time not only gives them a chance to see the positive traits in your business, it often translates into something even greater.

More Business

What? Negative reviews lead to more business?
The bad review enhances sales in an indirect way. People will come to your site, to see for themselves if the review has merit. They will spend more time and look at more pages. This increases your opportunity to convert them. Provide information, deals, and other content that makes excitement replace the negative review.

Dealing With Bad Reviews

Just because a bad review may help you, you don’t want to let the criticism go unanswered. There are a couple of things you need to do.

Evaluate the Review

Most bad reviews have nothing to do with what you are selling but instead have to do with some perceived slight in regards to service. The customer felt pushed, neglected or swindled.

Reach out to the Reviewer

Comment back on the reviewer’s negative post. Call, email- find some way to contact the reviewer and resolve the issue. No matter how you reach the reviewer, the most important step is to ensure you respond in a positive way wherever their original negative comment was posted.

Try to Solve the Situation

Follow through is also important. If you have proposed a solution to the reviewer, make sure you carry out what was promised promptly. In many cases, that reviewer will thank you publicly on the same venue they wrote the poor review.

Next Steps

Now is the time to make a list of review sites where your business appears. Make it a weekly habit to visit these sites and take note of any negative comments. Reach out and help turn those negative reviews into positive ones. Your business will only be better for the effort.

Before panicking about a negative review, don’t forget to that negatives can become beneficial with a little diligence and strategy. To continue working on your strategy, take a look at our blog ‘Dramatically Improve Your Small Business Social Media Crisis Management Skills‘!

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