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How To Gain An Advantage From Negative Online Reviews?

Agnieszka Szczepanowska
12/12/2022 | 6 min read
How To Gain An Advantage From Negative Online Reviews?

Table of contents

    You put a lot of effort into your business. You invest your own money in it. You live off the income you manage to generate. Many times the survival of your employees also depends on your success. It’s no wonder that negative reviews sometimes keep you up at night. But keep in mind that with conscious action you can turn most of them into a competitive advantage.


    How to do it? Quite simply. All you have to do is realize what bad reviews in Google My Business really are. Then learn how to respond repetitively and effectively to each of the negative comments.


    What do you need to know about negative comments under your Google Business Profile?


    Above all, it is worth realizing the emotional state of people who post them. These are people who are disappointed. On top of that, some of them assume in advance that the seller will argue with them. This makes them go into defensive mode from the get-go. And this causes them to use harsher vocabulary. It is a reflexive attempt to beat back counterarguments before they arise.


    Pretty obvious, right? Add to that the fact that emotions are a strong motivator. This means that a satisfied customer will be less motivated to post a comment than someone whose expectations have not been met. The best solution comes to mind. Instead of bouncing the ball and stirring up negative emotions, it is better to alleviate the issue.


    Why aren’t positive reviews enough to earn a client’s trust?


    Easy to say, but how to do it? After all, you too can have a worse day when you respond to a negative comment. What separates you from your customer is knowledge. It can change your perspective. With it, you will provide answers with the goal you want to achieve in your mind.


    In doing so, remember one thing. Profiles with positive reviews alone raise some suspicion. Consumers realize that your company may not be perfect. If it looks like one, they may consider it a mere scam. Your mature response under an unpleasant comment is definitely better. Then buyers know that in case of problems you won’t leave them completely in the lurch.


    How to respond to negative company reviews? Is it worth being afraid of them?


    You already know that your goal is to mitigate a conflict situation. To show that you care about the client, not only to the person you are talking to, but also to other potential buyers. You are also able to look at a negative review from a distance. You know very well that it is not the end of the world. What’s more, it provides you with valuable information about your company.


    Instead of getting angry or trembling with fear for your image, take a deep breath and let the air slowly out through your mouth. Get into Zen mode and quickly solve the problem. Then draw conclusions of what you can improve. This is the best way to avoid similar difficulties in the future.


    Dissatisfied client who didn’t read the terms and conditions


    Regulations are a good example. Let’s suppose a review is posted by a client outraged that he can’t return an item after a month. The perfect response? Say that you are sorry for the situation. Cite the point in the terms and conditions where you mention how many days a consumer has to return an item. Suggest contacting customer service to see if anything else can be done about it.


    This way you not only maintain professionalism, but also redirect the conversation away from public channels. On top of that, you use the reply box to remind people of your return policy. It will also remind other clients that the terms and conditions are set out and it is worth reading them to avoid problems with returns later.


    Google Maps feedback points to problems with the service department


    At this point, the issue is a bit more complex. You need to know the perspective of a person to whom the allegation is directed. You could simply talk to your own employee. Maybe you could send him for additional training on the service. If the problem was caused by an external shipping company, you will also raise your concerns with them. When such situations continue, you may want to change the delivery company, as delaying or destroying shipments generates too much cost.


    However, you must first respond. It is a good idea to respond to negative reviews within 12 hours of publication at the latest. Apologize for the situation. Offer compensation in the form of a discount. Suggest that if the discount does not satisfy the customer, you invite him to… contact customer service, as they will try to make up for their nerves. 


    Yes, exactly. Again, you redirect the upset consumer to private communication channels. This doesn’t mean you can ignore him later. If you solve his problem, you can ask to change the comment content. So both the client and your company will benefit from such action.


    The client did not like the product or the service provided


    The most challenging and valuable negative comments concern what you are selling. In that case, they act as free market research. This allows you to develop your offer in the direction expected by consumers. 


    However, responding quickly requires a very similar procedure to the previous cases. You sympathize that the product or service did not meet expectations. You offer a replacement or a discount. You invite them to contact you in a private message, allowing to find the best solution. When you manage to solve the customer’s problem, you say that you will be pleased if he changes the feedback content.


    This is it, quick, simple, to the benefit of all concerned. As you can see, negative feedback can be turned into positive. Unpleasant experiences into pleasant ones. You have the influence, you have the knowledge. Use it, and you’ll quickly get ahead of your competitors, who are still playing games with their customers.

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