Are you running a business or thinking of starting one? I am sure you have considered social media and how you can use it to grow your business. With that, you may have considered the impacts of negative reviews on your business. That leads all business owners to ask the question “how do I handle negative reviews on social media?
I’m here to tell you that social media could be your best friend if well dealt with.
Why You Should Collect Social Media Reviews? Handling Negative Reviews on Social Media
When you are going to get your hair done and have selected a specific style, do you settle with the first hairstylist you find or do you ask around for the best from your peers? I am a member of several WhatsApp groups and have seen many women ask for stylist advice.
In most cases, the person with a need would have checked online first, probably going to various Instagram accounts to try and find an account owned by someone in their area, who can execute the vision. After failing to find someone well-reviewed or within their vicinity, they then go to other people with the hopes of finding someone who is not posting on social media.
This is why having a social media presence and handling all types of reviews is vital to your business. You need to be the first person they find and should be reachable. It was reported that in 2017, 60% of consumers looked at reviews before buying a product. Of those that looked at reviews, 93% actually made their buying choice based on those reviews.
Let’s break it down for your business. If you are not on any online platforms that means you probably have a maximum of 40% of your possible clients actually walking through your doors. If you do have a social media platform without reviews you only have 44% of possible clients looking at you. Finally, if you do have well-handled or good reviews, you have 100% of possible clients looking at your business.
This does not mean you will get 100% of all clients looking for a hairstylist. It means you have a greater chance of considerably increasing the number of clients you have.
Bad Reviews + Good Handling = Increase in Business
Social media can be a treacherous maze with land mines and time bombs at every corner. As a result, you can expect several bad reviews from disgruntled clients, internet trolls who may or may not be your competitors or clients that simply tested your service and want a refund.
These reviews can be hurtful to your business if not dealt with well. As a result, many business owners opt to avoid reviews completely. I remember meeting a prospect once who owned a nail parlor. When I spoke to her about using social media better, she immediately said she did not want reviews at all for her business. She was sure she would get bad reviews. I left that meeting and never contacted her again.
Fear of reviews can only mean one thing; you are positive your service sucks.
I met with a different company, a BBQ joint. When I asked them what they were doing to get additional reviews, they told me they did not do anything because they had many good and some bad reviews coming from google. I chose to work with them.
They accepted that reviews would come in for their great work and they would have to deal with that as it happened.
Of the two businesses, one was full when I went in for the meeting, the other had staff sitting with nothing to do - Can you guess which is which?
Yes, the BBQ joint was booming with happy eaters, while the nail parlor which was located in the busiest mall in the area could not get a single walk-in client.
Turning Your Terrible Review into a Gold Mine: Handling Negative Reviews on Social Media
Good reviews are amazing to get. They make you smile and feel happy inside. They make clients want to visit your business without you having to pay for advertising and using SEO. Good reviews are great.
What about bad reviews? Well, simply put, you need to put in some additional work. A good response to a bad review or comment can salvage the damage that review was about to make on your business.
When dealing with bad reviews there are a few things you need to consider in your response. Let’s get started.
When dealing with negative comments and reviews, it is crucial that you respond as soon as possible. Breath, calm down and then respond. It is understandable that you may feel offended and angry. However, relax and then respond.
Nevertheless, do not let the review sit there. Picture an uncleaned wound – if you do not clean it quickly it will fester and likely lead to gangrene then to amputation or worse, death.
In short, deal with your negative reviews quickly. Make sure to do so before other people see the review and make their choices based on that review alone.
Take the Issue Offline
Sometimes, taking part in a long-drawn debate with a disgruntled customer could destroy your reputation and have other people chiming in. Remember this word ‘screenshots’. Be careful as your response can be shared over and over again.
Offer a direct message option or link for your customers to reach out to you to get their problems resolved.
You do still need to give an adequate response and a reason why you want to communicate with them offline.
Imagine your brand had a voice. What would that sound like? Social, formal, informal? Are you rude or are you loveable?
Your voice, in general, must show love and care. People buy from businesses they know, LIKE and most importantly, trust.
Request That Defamatory Reviews Be Removed
What is your policy on profanity? Clearly stating this somewhere on your page will reduce the risk of you having to delete reviews and comments. Deleting comments is the ultimate sin.
Monitor your Online Presence: Handling Negative Reviews on Social Media
Did you know, customers can create profiles for your company online without your permission if they cannot find your original profile?
This is why you need to constantly check online to find any such mentions and accounts and claim them immediately. Once claimed you can then use them in any way you deem useful. Delete them, or merge them into your current account.
You also run the risk of complete conversations happening about you on platforms your business does not use. Check all these platforms and make sure you are on top of every conversation regarding your brand.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Customer reviews, even negative reviews are useful and you must encourage them. When other clients see the bad reviews and comments on your timeline, they tend to believe the reviews are real.
Sadly, there are always people trying to gain the system. Many businesses delete negative reviews and write fake good reviews. Not even Mercedes has 100% great reviews. That is why other luxury brand cars have loyal clients. So, if your reviews are all good and you remove the negative ones, regardless of how you got the reviews, people will likely think they are fake.
Accept that reviews play a major role in growing your customer base and do as much as you can, ethically, to control the message. You can only control how you respond. The response is key.
Review and comments are very important signs of engagement for your content and business. The algorithms used by social media platforms cannot tell if a comment is good or bad, they consider it as engagement and all engagement is good. How you respond to comments and reviews, however, will highly impact how people do business with you.
In order to find how SNCT Marketing can help you implement an effective customer service and social strategy for your business, do schedule an appointment and our team of marketing consultants will reach out to you. Click the button below, complete the questionnaire with as much detail as possible, pick an available time slot and let’s get talking!