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4 tips on managing negative reviews

by | 15 April 2022 | Posts

We can all agree that the internet has certainly changed the way customers interact with businesses. Before, when a customer was unsatisfied with a service, they could easily come directly to the business and talk about it.

Well, today in the digital era we are living in, consumers can directly leave your business with negative reviews on your Google page, Facebook, and an alarming number of other platforms that count for your business (TripAdvisor, The Fork etc).

One thing is for sure; you can’t please everyone. 

Even if you do an excellent job, and reach all your target objectives. It is possible that some customers will leave you negative reviews. If you’re reading this, you’re likely to already have negative comments from your customers and wondering how to handle the situation. Don’t panic, you’ve come to the right place!

How to remove a negative review?

The first instinct when a dissatisfied customer leaves a bad comment on the internet is to want to delete it immediately. 

It should be known that you can delete negative reviews on some sites, for example, Facebook. But others, such as Google, do not allow it. 

To elaborate, Google works in the form of reporting. This means that if a review does not comply with the site’s rules of use, it is deleted by Google’s teams after a careful examination. An insulting, false, or off-topic comment can be removed from your page.

 On the other hand, if the review is legitimate, it is complicated to plead your case with Google. 

Again, be careful if you want to remove a review – it can have consequences. The person who left you this negative review may feel censored and that their opinion doesn’t matter. This might lead to them trying to tarnish your reputation on other sites that matter to your business. So think carefully before you decide to delete a negative review!

Why bother responding to negative comments?

The best advice that can be given is to respond to your reviews. It is important to know that 90% of Internet users read reviews before visiting an establishment. The reviews allow them to make a choice among all the options available to them.

That’s why it’s important to respond to all your reviews, whether they are positive or negative. If a negative review is left and it goes unanswered, it can be seen that you agree with it. In this situation, it may discourage some Internet users who wish to visit your establishment.

How soon should I respond to a negative review?

The ideal response time to a review is less than 72 hours after it has been published. Your reactivity will be welcomed by your customers and will show them that their opinion counts. For negative reviews, it is important to be professional and lively but not to respond emotionally.

It must be kept in mind that your answer is read hundreds or even thousands of times over by internet users who will want to form an opinion about you. Take a deep breath and write your answer calmly.

How to turn negative reviews into positive ones?

Customers who criticize your establishment may be looking for three things when they leave you a review: 

  • Compensation of some kind

In this case, by treating the request privately, or a commercial gesture, as well as trying to understand what the request is with more details.

  • An improvement of your services so that they will want to come back next time

Your customers may have noticed some dysfunctions or aspects that can be easily improved. It is important that they feel that their constructive criticism has been taken into account and that you are listening to them.

  • Inappropriate comments 

In this case, you have three possibilities. Firstly, if the review was left on Google, there is an option to report the review if you notice that it does not respect the rules. Secondly, if the comment comes from Facebook: you can delete the review directly. Finally, you can decide to answer calmly and professionally.

The takeaway

It is possible that you will receive negative comments about your business. You must therefore remember : 

  • Report the reviews that do not respect the rules of good manners
  • Answer all your comments, whether they are positive or negative
  • Be reactive but take the time not to answer in a hurry
  • Show that you are listening to your customers and turn your haters into supporters 

You now have all the keys to understanding your reviews on the Internet!

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Aizzaty Sultan

Aizzaty Sultan

Expert in local SEO on Google, Aizzaty shares her advice to merchants & independents to make them aware of the challenges in digitalisation.