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How to gain an advantage through negative online reviews?

Agnieszka Szczepanowska
06/12/2023 | 5 min read
How to gain an advantage through negative online reviews?

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    You put a lot of effort into your business. You invest your own money into it. You live off the income you manage to generate. Often, the survival of your employees also depends on your success. It's no wonder that negative opinions sometimes keep you awake at night. However, remember that with conscious action, you can turn most of them into a competitive advantage.


    How to do it? Quite simply. Just realize what bad reviews on Google My Business really are. And then learn to respond consistently and effectively to each negative comment.


    What do you need to know about negative comments on Google My Business?


    First of all, it's worth realizing the emotional state of the people who leave them. These are disappointed individuals. Some of them assume from the start that the seller will argue with them. This immediately puts them on the defensive. And that can lead them to use harsher language. It's an instinctive attempt to counter arguments before they even appear.


    Quite obvious, right? Add to that the fact that emotions are a strong motivating factor. This means that a satisfied customer will have less motivation to leave a review than a person whose expectations were not met. The best solution is obvious. Instead of bouncing back and fueling negative emotions, it's better to resolve the issue.


    Why are positive reviews not enough to gain customer trust?


    It's easy to say, but how do you do it? After all, you too can have a bad day when responding to a negative comment. What sets you apart from the customer is knowledge. It can change your perspective. With it, you will respond with a goal in mind.


    Remember one thing. Profiles with only pozytywnymi reviews raise some suspicions. Consumers are aware that your company cannot be perfect. If it appears to be, they may consider it a scam. A mature response to a negative comment looks much better. Then buyers know that in case of problems, you won't leave them completely stranded.



    How to respond to negative reviews about your company? Should you be afraid of them?


    You already know that your goal is to defuse the conflict situation. And to show not only the interlocutor but also other potential buyers that you care about the customer. You are also able to look at a negatywną review from a distance. You know well that it's not the end of the world. Moreover, it provides valuable information about your company.


    Instead of getting angry or trembling with fear for your image, take a deep breath and exhale slowly through your mouth. Enter a zen mode and quickly resolve the problem. And then draw conclusions about what you can improve. This is the best way to avoid similar difficulties in the future.


    An unhappy customer who didn't read the terms and conditions


    The terms and conditions are a good example. Let's say a customer leaves a review outraged that they cannot return a product after a month. The perfect response? Apologize for the situation. Quote the point in the terms and conditions that mentions how many days the consumer has for a return. Suggest contacting customer service, who will check if anything else can be done in this matter.


    This way, you not only maintain professionalism, but also redirect the conversation outside of public channels. You also use the reply window to remind about your return policy. This will also remind other customers that there is a policy in place and it's worth reading it to avoid later return issues.




    A Google Maps review indicates problems with customer service


    Here the matter is a bit more serious. You need to understand the perspective of the person to whom the accusation is directed. With your own employee, you can simply have a conversation. Maybe you'll send them for additional customer service training. If an external shipping company caused the problem, you will also report your objections to them. If such situations repeat, you can change the delivery company because delays or damage to shipments generate too high costs.


    However, first you need to react. It's best to respond to negatywne reviews no later than 12 hours after they are published. Apologize for the situation. Offer compensation in the form of a discount. Suggest that if the discount doesn't suit the customer, they can contact customer service, who will try to compensate for their frustration.


    Yes, exactly. You redirect the upset customer to private communication channels. This doesn't mean that you can ignore them later. If you solve their problem, you can ask them to change the content of the review. Both the customer and your company will benefit from such action.


    The customer didn't like the product or service provided


    The most difficult and valuable negatywne comments are about what you sell. They act as a free market research. And that allows you to develop your offer in the direction expected by consumers.


    Quick response requires a very similar procedure as in previous cases. You express regret that the product or service did not meet expectations. You offer a replacement or a discount. You invite them to contact you privately, which will allow you to find the best solution. When you manage to solve the customer's problem, you say that you would appreciate it if they changed the content of the review.


    That's it, quickly, simply, with benefits for all parties involved. As you can see, negative reviews can be turned into positive ones. Unpleasant experiences can be turned into pleasant ones. You have the power, you have the knowledge. Use it, and you will quickly outpace the competition that is still playing tug-of-war with customers.


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