You just got a bad online review. There are situations when it’s best not to respond. But at other times you need to spring into “reputation management mode” and answer the review directly. But how do you determine the difference? Here are three situations when you must respond to bad reviews:
- You really did screw up: Sometimes you just make a mistake. People will generally understand. If you erred and someone is legitimately upset about it, it’s usually in your best interest to quickly engage them and make it right. Owning the issue cools down the sentiment of the viewer. Apologize for the error, explain what’s been done to insure that it won’t happen again and then offer an incentive to get them to give you a second go. You’ll not only mend the fence with that particular customer, your response will immediately make potential customers feel that when someone has a problem, your business will address the situation and that you’re confident you are in your product.
- The reviewer is misstating the facts: Your Company is being blasted for giving a reviewer a bad product or not honoring a promised deal. The problem: you sell that product and you didn’t offer that deal. In such cases, speak up and politely let the reviewer know that they have simply misunderstood something or they’re getting you confused with another business. If it’s a matter of bad facts, you should step in immediately and correct them. More often than not, the reviewer doesn’t realize he/she has made an error.
- The review begins to gain traction: Some bad reviews, whether true or not, take on a life their own. These situations need to be addressed and need to be addressed fast. These reviews are often left by people with a large social network. If a person with considerable a sizable social following says something bad about your company and it begins to gain traction, step in and do what you can to remedy the situation fast. You may think it’s a petty complaint but even a minor issue can become a reputation disaster if allowed to grow.