Is allowing strangers to write reviews while hiding behind anonymous accounts a good idea? The bigger question is how bad online reviews can affect your reputation and your business. Just a week ago, Google added a new section calling out ‘Fake Engagement’ to their review guidelines, which states
“Content that has been incentivized by a business in exchange for discounts, free goods and/or services. This includes merchant requests for revision or removal of a negative review through offered discounts, free goods or services, or other incentives.”
Yikes! So business owners can’t even try to reconcile with an unreasonable customer who demands the moon, by bending over backward to reconcile via a discount, free follow-up, or other alternative. According to one business owner we spoke with, ‘I didn’t even want to be on Google Maps, but I’m there and people are rating my company. Some are nice, but other’s aren’t, and there’s nothing I can do about it. It makes me look bad and my other customers and friends see that. For all I know, it was written by an old employee or a competitor. What can I do when Google calls the shots?’
Bad reviews Facebook, Google Business, and Yelp will drive away potential customers, costing you thousands of dollars per year in lost business. No business is perfect, and it’s only natural that there will be the occasional bad review. But what happens when those bad reviews start to pile up? Can negative online reviews really impact your bottom line? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. In today’s digital age, potential customers are increasingly turning to online reviews to make purchasing decisions. And a business with a reputation for poor quality and customer service is unlikely to stay afloat for long.
The Risks of Ignoring Bad Online Reviews
Bad online reviews can hurt your business in a number of ways. First and foremost, they can damage your reputation and make it difficult to attract new customers. In addition, bad reviews can also lead to higher advertising costs as you’ll need to spend more money to offset the negative sentiment. Finally, dissatisfied customers who post negative reviews online are much less likely to do business with you again in the future.
So what can you do if your business starts to receive a rash of bad online reviews?
The first step is to take them seriously and not simply brush them off as the complainers and haters. After all, there’s usually some truth to even the most seemingly unfair criticism. Once you’ve acknowledged the problem, reach out to the unhappy customers directly and try to resolve their issues. If that’s not possible or if the customer is unwilling to work with you, then respond publicly to their review in a professional and polite manner. If all else fails, you probably want to consider a negative SEO service like these. Finally, make sure that you’re regularly monitoring your online reputation so that you can nip any negative sentiment in the bud before it gets out of control.
Bad online reviews are no laughing matter. In today’s digital age, they have the power to damage your reputation, increase your advertising costs, and drive away potential customers. So if your business starts receiving negative feedback online, don’t ignore it. Acknowledge the problem, reach out to unhappy customers directly, and take steps to ensure that future issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.