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Dealing With Online Reviews

Nearly 90 percent of consumers check online reviews to learn more about a product, service or business, yet most businesses owners don’t know to garner the power of a positive review or mitigate the negative of a poor one.

Use these tips to take the right steps when dealing with online reviews.

Step 1: Accentuate the Positives. It’s important to learn how to take advantage of positive online reviews beyond what pops up on a Google search or Yelp posting. By collecting and organizing reviews, you can repurpose them for other marketing, website content or social media.

Step 2: Change Rank. If you face a negative review from disgruntled former employees, add posts about the positives of your business—from community outreach to how long you’ve been in business to highlighting long-tenured employees. This will move the positives up the search ranking and the negatives down.

Step 3: Breathe. When a legitimate negative review appears, it’s not uncommon to get a little defensive. To take the edge off your anger, wait a day before responding. In that cooling off period, you’ll calm down and have the chance to think about or even investigate the reason for the negative review. This will help you formulate an action plant before responding to the poster.

Step 4: Respond Gracefully. If you feel a negative review is false, respond gracefully but set the record straight. If you deserve the negative review, determine whether you can respond directly to the poster. By taking the discussion offline, you can resolve the issue with that individual personally. If you can’t contact the poster personally, post a solution-oriented public reply.

Step 5: Don’t Forget. If you’ve addressed a nasty review successfully and ultimately appeased the customer, it would be easy to forget about it and move on. Don’t! Keep revisiting the issue to ensure your solution was truly successful for a year or more. Not doing so could mean another bad review from the same customer telling others you didn’t make good on your promises.

Step 6: Keep Track of Platforms. Although Google is the most popular location for reviews, users must have a Gmail or Google account to post reviews, so it’s important to check other web browsers to keep up with what those customers have to say.


About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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