Could One Bad Review Affect Your Business?

Everyone’s got an opinion.  Sometimes, these opinions aren’t very welcome.  All it takes is one particularly nasty review to put a dent in your online reputation.  This could be a competitor using unfair business tactics, a disgruntled employee, or a customer who had a poor experience with your business.  Whatever the source, you need to address these bad reviews immediately and in a professional manner to protect your business.

Review sites like Yelp, Zagat, GoogleLocal, and Angie’s List allow users to share their experiences with one another. We all want to find great deals and great service but if you don’t know who the best mechanic or the tastiest pizza parlor is, you can trust the word of hundreds of others who may have reviewed a place.  (By the way, the best pizza in town is at a restaurant named Mama D’s in Newport Beach.)  To a business owner, these review sites can either be your best friend or worst nightmare.

If You’re the Victim of a Bad Review
If you find yourself the victim of a bad review, do not panic and say something rude to the poster.  This will make you look worse online.  Sites like Yelp are full of owner’s comments that are sometimes nasty and it makes the business look terrible.  Would you frequent a business who said nasty things to a customer? I think not. Instead, focus on how you can improve that customer’s experience in the short term and in the long term.  Listen to their specific concerns and don’t be afraid to ask them how you can improve their experience or win back their business. Often times, reviewers will give it another shot and update their review to reflect a more positive return experience.  We all have bad days and sometimes, it takes a little soothing to make things right.

Stay In Front of Bad Reviews With Positive Media
Depending on the severity of the review, you may want to ignore it.  Review sites are also full of reviews where people dish out 1 stars to restaurants because they had to wait 10 minutes to be seated. You can’t please all of the people all of the time.  But you should be aware of the reviews about your business and what people are saying online.  By staying in front of it with positive media and positive community engagement, you can often avoid nightmare scenarios. And hey, if that one person still feels slighted they had to wait 10 minutes, you can usually rest easy that most people who depend on reviews laugh at those reviewers too.