As a Denver advertising agency, on a regular basis, we are asked, how can I get this negative review of my business removed from the web? The answer, nearly 100% of the time is, you can’t. However, the good news is that you can prevent this from ever happening again.
The only truly effective strategy to eliminate future negative online reviews and comments is to establish a strategy for dealing with negative customer experiences long before a customer actually has an issue.
It is reality that today’s consumers are more educated, more demanding, more stressed about their time, expect more from the people with whom they do business, and understand that they have a very loud voice if something does not go well. This is the environment that every business must understand and operate in today.
After years of studying negative reviews, one resounding trend is also obvious. Negative reviews are far more likely and greatly amplified when the service provider does not take the opportunity to correct an issue voiced by their customer.
Read our article: The Extinction of Previously Successful Businesses
So to eliminate negative reviews, we have outlined these three simple steps.
As far as negative reviews go, the worst thing that can happen is that someone has a bad experience with your business, they walk out the door without letting you know, and they go write a bad review. The good news is that this is rarely the case. In over 90% of cases people will let you know that some sort of issue has occurred. THIS is your opportunity to eliminate a bad review before it happens. So, be proactive. Create channels, comment cards, surveys, checkpoints in your process or whatever means you believe would be effective to ensure that your customers have the ability to provide you with feedback, before they walk out the door. This can be as simple as asking, how was your visit today?
When you receive customer feedback, be sure to listen. This is the most valuable information you can receive. It is unbiased. It is from your customer and it is relevant. Whatever they feel, whatever they voice is a reflection on how someone might feel about the way you are delivering your product or service. Avoid judging if it is right or wrong, just listen!
3) Close The Loop
Praise is fantastic and we all love to hear it when someone raves about their experience with us. If the comments you receive are positive, you can ask for referrals. Or, even better, ask if they would please post a positive review. You can even provide them with links or a list of possible options where they can do this. Some companies even thank customers for their time to write a review with some sort of perk or benefit.
If the feedback is negative, first of all listen, do not defend or make excuses. Just listen. Then, realize that this person has provided you with valuable insights and an amazing opportunity.
- Thank them for taking the time to let you know what happened with their experience
- Let them know how this differs from the way you want to do business and way you strive to make your customers feel. Let them know that this is important to you
- Do whatever it takes to make things right for them! Think about how much it costs you have a negative review sitting out there for everyone to see forever. Just do whatever it takes to turn this negative experience into something positive for them.
- Escalate this for further follow up and reinforcement. Just to make sure that the customer truly feels that the experience has been made positive, someone higher up on your organization should always call or send a letter to the customer, once again explaining they way your organization does business and the way you strive to make your customers feel and invite any follow up communication.
If you follow these three simple steps, you will be able to eliminate negative reviews for your company.
How to use this Information
Be sure that you have a defined process in place to Ask, Listen and Close The Loop. Make sure that you front line people understand their role in this process AND make sure they have the ability to turn a negative experience into a positive one. The faster this happens, the less likely that the issue will escalate.
At Webolutions®, a strategic advertising agency in Denver, we continually identify and study current marketing trends. We believe in making a difference in people’s lives and would be happy to provide you with a complimentary one-on-one evaluation to help you put together a more effective marketing program contact us online or give us a call at 720-746-2732.